Can I count on you to help advocate for our Members and staff?
A new year sometimes brings new challenges. Recently, California Governor Gavin Newsom released the first draft of his budget in January, and between his estimates and that of the Legislative Analyst’s Office, there is an anticipated deficit of between $38 to $68 billion dollars this year. To combat that deficit, the governor’s budget includes a delay in the implementation of the last phase of the provider rate increases by a full year. This is a significant problem for service providers like New Horizons as many of those funds are tied to salary increases for our Direct Service Professionals (DSPs). With the fast-food industry moving to $20 per hour in April, and other industries following suit, it’s critical that we pay our dedicated and professional staff a decent, well-earned wage to keep them as our employees and maintain the level of service our Members have come to expect.
Paying our DSPs, a living wage is essential, especially with inflation and other economic considerations. And while I don’t have an advocacy campaign in place yet, we are working with the California Disability Services Association (CDSA), and plan to push for reinstating the funding to help us meet the on-going hiring and retention challenges that are facing our industry. Look for additional correspondence from us with information on how we can collectively advocate for this funding for our staff and Members.
In better news, I’m happy to report that we’ve opened a new office in Thousand Oaks and anticipate opening additional sites in Burbank and Santa Clarita this year. Additionally, we’re expanding our service options, and continue to build on options and opportunities to help our Members have full and fulfilling lives.
And in other really great news, we just received a Metro grant for $900k to purchase new vans, and to pay for gas, insurance and other infrastructure needs related to transportation. The only caveat was that to receive the funded, we were required to have 10% in match dollars. That’s where you come in, and why this news is so great… thanks to your generosity at last year’s Gala, your “Fund-a-Cause” support for transportation will cover the match dollars needed. Woo-hoo!
Please pat yourself on the back for that. Thank you for your unwavering support. So grateful to have you as part of our village!
All my best,