This document contains contacts for the Wayne County Board, the State House and Senate, the Michigan Department of Human Services and Detroit-Wayne County Mental Health board.
As a minimum please contact your elected representatives on the County Board and in Lansing.
- Most effective contact is person to person. You can make an appointment (or deliver a message) using the contact phone numbers on the following rosters.
- If you use e-mail, avoid multiple addressees and personalize your message. There is a sample letter at the end of this file
- Be careful what you ask for.
- Let’s be sure to ask for county and state intervention to assure the spending cuts are reversed in their entirety.
- Lets feel free to ask for improvement to the often polarized Mental Health Board and restructuring at the board and at CLS as necessary
- Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water!!!!
Our personal experience has been that CLS has been a good MCPN for our daughter; she has a good PA and CLS has advocated and provided services that we have been told are not available from the other MCPN’s.
Let’s value and protect the services and concentrate on getting help fixing the broken financial process.
Pass it on – share this information with family and friends and ask them to contact their county and state officials and ask them to intervene with the Mental Health Board so that CLS funding is restored.
Sample Letter follows. Let’s make a noise.
Subject: CLS Unilaterally Reduces Funding for 2800 Persons with Developmental Disabilities in Wayne County
On January 29, 2009 there was a public forum held in Wayne, Michigan to obtain information and express concern over the fact that Community Living Services (CLS) had unilaterally cut funding for individuals with developmental disabilities by 10% (vocational) and 12.5% (residential). As you can imagine in today’s Michigan economy, this funding was already at sustenance level before the cuts and has caused the service providers to reduce food allocations, and staff pay, to cut non-medical services, to refuse new clients and to threaten to close the most costly homes and facilities. Over 400 people attended the meeting.
At a subsequent meeting on March 19, testimony was given that supported the fact that unauthorized service cuts and in some cases health and safety issues are occurring as a result of the funding reductions.
Since January the residential cuts have beer reduced to8.5%, with no change to the vocational programs (still down 10%)
The underlying issues are disputes between the State and the County Mental Health Board, and the Board and CLS around the appropriate funding for services in Wayne County. Here is the information that was relayed to us at the forum in January and updated in March.
- D-WCCMH provided no increase for the 2008-9 budget year and apparently no guidelines
- In addition CLS reported it had received no incremental funding over the past several years during which it has taken on an additional 600 clients. In Wayne County CLS is recognized as an agency that consistently is willing to support persons with more severe disabilities – persons who can not find adequate support from other agencies.
- In order to stay in business supporting its 2800 clients CLS, rightly or wrongly, decided to unilaterally reduce funding to service providers caring for it’s 2800 clients. Most of these clients are in residential and job support programs that were already under funded.
- Some providers have been forced to cut direct care staff salaries – running contrary to the intent of the legislature which has approved direct pass thru salary increases for these same people – with salaries averaging $7.00 to $9.00 an hour before any cuts.
- This is the 2nd time providers for CLS have had funding cut in recent years for a cumulative reduction of 25% with no intervening economic increases
- We do not know of any other area of Michigan with this magnitude of cuts.
PLEASE INTERVENE WITH MICHAEL HEAD, STATE DIRECTOR OF MENTAL HEALTH AND VEDA SHARP, ACTING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF DWCCMHA TO PRESS FOR RESOLUTION OF THIS BUDGET CRISIS.
Please let me know what action you take.
Parent and Advocate