Illinois is now entering its fifth month without a budget! Every day people are being denied critical services because human service providers have had to lay off staff or close their doors entirely.
Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) has dealt with payment reductions and flat reimbursements from the state before. Currently, our large gap is money due to LSSI for a variety of programs that serve some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, including home care for seniors, residential substance abuse treatment, and mental health services. Our programs that support these individuals provide a safety net that is becoming more and more frayed as the budget impasse continues, leaving at-risk groups of people with a greater margin of uncertainty.
Now more than ever your advocacy is needed! There are several steps you can take to let state lawmakers know we need a state budget now!
- Download this insert and include it in your regular Sunday bulletin
- Call or write a letter to Governor Rauner
- Contact your state legislators
Within LSSI, Government Relations and Advocacy are two distinct but overlapping functions. Government Relations addresses the needs of the people being served in various LSSI programs, as well as the needs of human service providers—such as LSSI—so that we are able to continue to provide vital services to those people.
Our Advocacy office is part of the ELCA’s network of state public policy offices. In Illinois, Lutheran Advocacy-Illinois works with all three synods in Illinois to organize grassroots support for state and federal policies that reflect ELCA social statements, resolutions and messages on public policy issues. In Illinois, the primary focus of the state public policy office is adequate and sustainable state funding for human services that provide the vital safety net for all people in Illinois. Lutheran Advocacy-Illinois also addresses environmental and civil rights issues.
The office of Government Relations and Advocacy also offers numerous resources to church groups or individuals who want to get more deeply involved in faith and value-based public policy advocacy.
LSSI’s Office of Government Relations and Advocacy is led by Jennifer De Leon, Director of Government Relations. Contact Jennifer to learn more about how you can add your voice to the thousands of Lutherans across Illinois who speak out in favor of a strong public–private safety net for people in need in our state, or if you would like one of the previously mentioned presentations for your congregation.
Jennifer can be reached at 847.390.1428, or at Jennifer.Deleon@LSSI.org