Client News

Suwannee Democrat: iBudget masks service cuts

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The year 2013 arrived with more of the same reductions in services The Arc North Florida clients have seen every year since 2004. This time, the reductions came masked in the form of the Agency for Persons With Disabilities’ iBudget. Presented as a plan that would give clients and their families more control over their budgets, it actually reduced the choices individuals were able to make.
For many of the people The Arc serves, that meant being able to spend less time in the Adult Day Training program, receiving less support services and for many, the total loss of the transportation they needed to get to The Arc training centers.
For the residents living in the group home in Baker County, the impact was even greater. The continued reduction in funding, coupled with the decrease in the number of people being offered services by the APD, made it impossible for The Arc to fund the operation of the home.
After discussing the fiscal challenges with the residents, their families, as well as The Arc staff members, the home was forced to close this past August. The good news story in all of this is that the Macclenny residents have successfully made the transition to Suwannee County where they now live in one of the Suwannee County group homes and attend the ADT program.
All of the staff at the agency is happy that this story ended on a positive note and are very thankful that The Arc North Florida can continue to provide services to these wonderful people.
Patrick, one of the former Maclenny residents, was asked how he liked his new home in Live Oak. He gave us a big grin and said, “I like my new room. It is good. I like my friends. They are nice people.”

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