DHS cutting $30 million from upcoming fiscal year budget

DHS announced it is cutting 30 million dollars from its budget for the upcoming fiscal year. (KTUL)

DHS announced it is cutting $30 million from its budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

DHS officials said the cuts are necessary after years of revenue loss, but people like Lola Edwards are concerned the cuts may be hurting many children, disabled and elderly.

“This isn’t the first cut we’ve had, we’ve been getting cuts for five or six years,” said Edwards.

Edwards is the president of Complete Home Services. The program facing the largest cut is the ADvantage program at DHS. Approximately $9 million will be cut from its budget. The program helps provide in-home care for elderly, disabled and blind people.

“We rank 49th in the states for healthcare already- for aged, blind and disabled. AARP does a study every year- it came out six weeks ago. It’s not like we’re exceeding expectations already- then to continue to see other cuts,” said Edwards.

Larry Williams is a disabled veteran who depends on the ADvantage program. Currently, the cuts will mean he will see his caseworker less and may have less time with an aide who takes care of all his home chores and errands.

“I don’t like being in my situation, but I know it can’t be helped, I thank God that we have these kinds of services that can help people like me to have somewhat of a normal life,” said Williams.

DHS officials said they considered freezing the program all together, but realized it would be too detrimental for people like Williams.

“When you cut those programs just to try and save a dollar, you’re putting a strain on the person that needs that help,” said Williams.

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