Villa has a commitment to advocate and protect those that cannot speak for themselves. As an organization Villa co-establised a Coalition of Service Providers offering a united voice. Below is a letter that was sent to all legislators by the Coalition. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Thank you
November 1, 2012
We are writing to ask you to consider the Legislature’s actions towards people with developmental disabilities and the consequences of those actions. Over the past 30 years, each Governor and Legislative session has acted to accelerate the movement of people with developmental disabilities out of State operated institutions, returning people to their families and home communities. California’s promise to each of these individuals and to their families is that life in the community will be better, and that the promise of essential services and supports will be honored through funding of more economical community-based services. The fiscal consequence of the movement to replace institutionalization with community-based services has, in fact, saved California billions over the past three decades. The human consequence is that more than 280,000 people and their families now count on community services for their health, welfare and the ability to live with dignity.
Since 2008, more than a billion dollars have been cut from the California’s services to people with developmental disabilities. By far, the largest portion of this cut has come out of the direct services that individuals and their families depend upon. While no one can doubt that the Legislature was forced to take dramatic action to deal with our Budget crisis, no one can doubt that these cutting actions have had profound consequences for the people who depend upon them. The undeniable consequences of these cuts are that critical services have been lost, and that as services close, the people who depend upon them are left to fend for themselves.
The Legislature included an additional “Trigger cut” to these services in their current year budget, and now these most vulnerable individuals face hardships they cannot withstand. While this budget action is imminent, we urge the Legislature and Administration to work together to direct the consequences of this cut to force a leaner state and regional bureaucratic delivery system. No one believes additional cuts can be made without negative consequences. It is where these consequences will be felt that is so crucial.
Individuals and their families cannot withstand additional cuts in essential services, and the local community nonprofits that deliver these services cannot withstand the loss of additional funding without collapse. We urge you to act with courage and conviction to protect our most vulnerable citizens. Please work to make sure the unavoidable negative consequences of additional cuts impact the administrative delivery system that exists to ensure services get to the people in need, and not to those services themselves. This values based strategy will be challenging and will confront obstacles. We offer you our time, experience and commitment to work with you to achieve the best possible outcome for the people we are pledged to serve.
This letter is co-signed by the 17 following organizations who are collectively responsible for residential and day services for more than 15 thousand people with developmental disabilities each day.
Villa's goal is to help protect services for children and adults with developmental disabilites including autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. If you have questions please feel free to email us at info@VillaEsperanzaServices.org.