Tick Tock: 706 Days Without a Budget

Rauner’s Budget Crisis Forces Webster-Cantrell to Eliminate Youth Emergency Shelter


Chicago, IL – Today, on day 706 without a budget, Webster-Cantrell Hall, one of the few emergency shelters for homeless teens in Central Illinois, prepares to eliminate its shelter program. The closing will relocate most residents to Chicago and cut almost a dozen employee positions.
 
Webster-Cantrell Hall’s emergency care shelter program serves homeless youth ages 12-18. The program helps prepare and transition them to foster care.  
 
The program will shut down due to the termination of its contract with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) on the basis of it no longer being “cost-effective.” This is not the first time DCFS has put the interests of cost effectiveness ahead of the welfare of vulnerable Illinois children under Bruce Rauner.
 
In May, Bruce Rauner’s DCFS Director George Sheldon stepped down in disgrace, following the death of 17-month-old Semaj Crosby. Under Rauner’s watch, DCFS engaged in a range of negligent practices that put thousands of vulnerable youth at risk. Investigators were incentivized to close the most cases with $100 gift cards, resulting in incomplete and shoddy reporting.

“Bruce Rauner’s callous cuts prove that the welfare of Illinois’ most vulnerable children and youth doesn’t have a place in his destructive agenda,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Webster-Cantrell is just one of the many critical social service agencies in Illinois that have been forced to slash their programs, close their doors, and turn away vulnerable Illinoisans seeking refuge from dire situations. Illinois children and families have suffered too long, as Rauner fails to pass a budget for the third year. It’s time for Bruce Rauner to stop holding Illinois hostage and put an end to the devastation.”

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