In Illinois, finding appropriate residential facilities for any adult with disabilities is a challenge. For Jewish adults with disabilities, it is virtually impossible.
It is an unfortunate reality that Jewish families who have children with special needs are leaving Illinois to secure residential services and day programs in other states. In 2009 alone, several life-long Chicago families moved from the Chicago area to the east coast to access residential options and services for their adult children. The migration of these families represents a significant loss of business, leadership, and talent from the Chicago Jewish community. Presently, The Libenu Foundation is aware of additional families who are planning to leave the state if this project does not come to fruition. The Libenu Foundation believes that we cannot afford to lose any of these individuals.
Illinois ranks last in the United States in providing services for adults with disabilities; once an individual with special needs graduates high school or reaches 22, his or her options and prospects for the future are limited. Due to the state of the economy and the budget crisis in Illinois, crucial services to the adult disabled population are being severely cut or curtailed. These cuts in service and funding compromise the safety and well-being of all adults with special needs and their caregivers.
We must provide and care for the most vulnerable members of our community.