Pennsylvania DHS Secretary & Representatives Costa & Gainey Advocate for Adequate Human Services Budget Funding in Allegheny County

Aug 13, 2015, 13:29 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

WILKINSBURG, Pa., Aug. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, PA Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Ted Dallas, Rep. Paul Costa and Rep. Ed Gainey visited Hosanna House. They were joined by members of provider organizations and advocates and called for the General Assembly to provide adequate funding for human service programs in the 2015-16 budget. Governor Wolf's proposed 2015-16 budget restored funding for county human services agencies, increased funding for programs that help aging Pennsylvanians while also increasing choices for their care and supports, and provided additional funding for programs that help individuals with disabilities.

"The current budget impasse is compromising the ability of our human services providers statewide to help our state's most vulnerable," said Secretary Dallas. "Yet, these agencies know that accepting a budget that further limits their capacity is a bad choice for their organizations and clients. We need continued, good faith efforts on both sides to reach a final agreement that provides the necessary funding for vital human services programming that is essential to the lives of so many Pennsylvanians."

The budget passed by the General Assembly, presented to Governor Wolf on June 30, shifts $172 million worth of payments to counties for services for abused and neglected children into the next fiscal year, which creates further budgeting issues for counties and exacerbates the structural deficit. It also underfunds health care services to Pennsylvania's most at risk citizens delivered through managed care organizations. Further, it maintains $27.9 million in cuts to county programs from the previous administration, reducing services and increasing pressure on local taxpayers.

Secretary Dallas, Sen. Costa and Rep. Gainey visited Hosanna House, Inc. (HHI), a multi-purpose community center serving over 35,000 people a year. Hosanna House's mission is to provide opportunities that will empower families and individuals to discover, acknowledge and develop their maximum potential physically, spiritually and economically. They deliver much needed health and human services, from welfare to work programs, job training, child development programs, afterschool programs, and healthcare.  

"Almost 800 children and adults enter our building each day for much needed health and human services; the individuals we serve are the most critical in our society to support," said Hosanna House Executive Director Leon Haynes. "Not only do we need a budget passed, but we need the right budget passed, a budget that will support health and human service organizations in a way that they can effectively provide quality services to the most vulnerable population. Any delay or decrease impacts the people we should be most concerned about in furthering the welfare of our families, communities, cities, states and the nation."

MEDIA CONTACT: Kait Gillis, 717-425-7606

 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Human Services