California: County's Social Services Slashed by Another $3 Million
September 23, 2009
On Sept. 15, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to slash more than $3 million from health programs, including those promoting HIV prevention and assisting AIDS patients. This latest cut is in addition to an earlier reduction of $20 million in the health department's budget this year. The reductions are in response to state budget cuts.
An in-home nursing program serving 28 AIDS patients will be eliminated. Mobile HIV testing in the county will be cut by half. The number of clients in a program that assists with routine tasks, including paying bills, will be cut from 180 HIV/AIDS patients to 90. Seven health department jobs, including two currently vacant positions, were eliminated.
The Chris Adams Center for at-risk teenage girls, located at Juvenile Hall in Martinez, will be shuttered by the cuts. The home provides 17 girls extensive mental health treatment. Supervisors asked the county Family and Human Services Department for a report on why referrals to Chris Adams had declined. That decline jeopardized a plan to license the center as a group home. The loss of county dollars makes it more difficult to raise funds for the center, William Walker, the director of health services, told the board.
"We have been struggling to keep Chris Adams open, but the choices have been taken out of our hands," said Sup. Mary Piepho.
The board cut $400,000 from a program to reduce infant mortality and congenital diseases among African Americans. A welfare-to-work mental health and drug treatment program for women was cut by 40 percent, from $1.7 million to $1 million.
Contra Costa Times
09.16.2009; Rick Radin