What Deficit Reductionism Really Means: Sending the Disabled to Homeless Shelters

Yes, we have left no sense of decency. From Indiana, we find this story about parents of disabled children who can't receive state aid for their disabled children:

Indiana's budget crunch has become so severe that some state workers have suggested leaving severely disabled people at homeless shelters if they can't be cared for at home, parents and advocates said.

They said workers at Indiana's Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services have told parents that's one option they have when families can no longer care for children at home and haven't received Medicaid waivers that pay for services that support disabled children living independently.

Viva l'austerity! Here's one example of someone that was encouraged to go to a homeless shelter (italics mine):

The pressure is being felt elsewhere, too. Daunna Minnich of Bloomington said Indiana Department of Education funding for residential treatment for her 18-year-old daughter, Sabrina, is due to run out Sunday.

Officials at Damar Services Inc. of Indianapolis have told Minnich that unless she takes Sabrina home to Bloomington, the agency will take her to a homeless shelter.

Minnich said Sabrina, who's bipolar and has anxiety attacks, has attempted suicide, run away during home visits and threatened her older sister. She said bringing Sabrina home isn't a viable option, and the two group home placements that BDDS offered weren't appropriate for Sabrina's needs.

"I don't want to see the state of Indiana hasten her demise by putting her in a one-size-fits-all solution that will drive her to desperate acts," Minnich said.

Because it's really all about the young people:

Kim Dodson, associate executive director of The Arc of Indiana advocacy group, speculated the suggestions result from frustration among BDDS staff. Families have become more outspoken in complaining about waiting for waivers -- waiting lists had more than 20,000 names last month -- and upset that Family and Social Services has reduced services as Gov. Mitch Daniels has cut its budget. The Arc says cuts since July have eliminated 2,000 waiver slots.

Kids. Or budgets. Same thing.

A humane nation--not one enthralled to "robust Christianity"--would not ever place its needy in a situation like this. Yet we are simultaneously told two things:

1) The federal government shouldn't run deficits due to fears of inflation, even though investors are buying negative interest bonds.

2) Even if we could run deficits, we wouldn't know how to spend the money fast enough.

Well, regarding #2, I have an idea....

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Indiana is so far behind the times: here in Florida, the disabled go straight from the E.R. to the streets, IV drips & all.

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 31 Oct 2010 #permalink