Social agencies across Illinois have banded together since the announcement of Governor Rauner’s 1.5 million dollar budget cuts to make every effort to protect our communities. We at Chicago House would like to break down how these cuts will not only affect us as an agency, but more importantly the community we serve more broadly:

The budget cuts will only affect people who are living with HIV/AIDS.  

False. These budget cuts will affect anyone and everyone connected to Medicaid. One million Chicago residents are covered by Medicaid in some form, and the proposed cuts would endanger needed care for many. It also stands to mention that Medicaid helps to stabilize the economy in Illinois, and these cuts will play a significant role in job loss. 

Supportive Housing will disappear if these cuts go into effect. 

False. The state is under a federal and class action suit mandate to provide supportive housing. Currently, 12,000 people are living in supportive housing in Illinois, and supportive programs receive a total of $30.8 million to provide services to their residents. Although these programs won’t completely disappear, their development, structure, and staff will drastically change. Chicago House will do everything we can to continue our supportive housing programs, as well as be an ally to our fellow service providers who may be affected by the cuts. 

Prevention programs and medications, like PrEP, will be harder to get should the current budget be passed. 

True. Prevention programs and medications like PrEP are funded for many through means such as the AIDS Drug Assistance Program. Because of the freezing of all new programs through this year’s state budget, prevention and treatment programs will come to a halt and health outcomes will start to decline. 

How will Chicago House continue to exist if these cuts go into effect on May 31st?

Chicago House continues to monitor the budget situation in Springfield and assess the potential impact of different funding scenarios. Although the cuts will likely impact our budget, Chicago House maintains a diverse pool of funding from both public and private sources, such as from special events and individuals donors, to help ensure resilience when faced with budget cuts. Chicago House will also stand firm with our service-oriented allies in continuing to serve those who are “disenfranchised by HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ marginalization, poverty, homelessness, and/or gender nonconformity” by continuing to ensure that all are afforded the opportunity to live happy, healthy and productive lives. 

How can I lend my voice or a helping hand? 

Tell your family, friends, and neighbors to contact their local government officials by phone, social media, email, etc., to alert them at how these budget cuts will affect your community. To find your local representative click here .