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New Human Services Website Details Economic Importance of Providers, Warns of Looming Crisis if System is Not Fixed Immediately
Date:3/11/2008

BOSTON, March 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Campaign to Strengthen Human Services, which is committed to ensuring passage of legislation that will equitably compensate human service providers, today unveiled its campaign website, http://www.strengthenhumanservices.org . The site details the economic and social importance that human services providers bring to all corners of Massachusetts.

The campaign is focused on passing Senate 65, a bill that would establish a fair system to ensure providers receive adequate rates from the Commonwealth for the cost of delivering services to millions of residents in need of care because of mental health issues, developmental disabilities and threats against their personal safety. The bill is currently awaiting action from the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities.

The last time the Commonwealth adjusted the rates paid to all the human services providers in Massachusetts was 21 years ago, meaning many of these organizations are being reimbursed for fuel, heat and rent at 1987 rates. This has placed dozens of not-for-profit providers in severe financial straits, which has resulted in low wages and high turnover.

"There is a tremendous amount of evidence of the need for passage of Senate 65, and http://www.strengthenhumanservices.org puts it all in one place," the campaign said in a statement. The campaign is being led by a collaboration of the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers, the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers and the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Corporations of Massachusetts.

One of the areas highlighted by the website is the economic impact human services providers bring to Massachusetts. The industry employs 185,000 workers -- roughly the same as the telecommunications industry -- and they contribute more than $112 million in state and local taxes.

The website also features the endorsements of dozens of provider associations, organizations, businesses and individuals, as well as an easy- to-use platform that allows supporters to contact their legislators.


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SOURCE The Campaign to Strengthen Human Services
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