December 7, 2016 5:03 pm
The third episode of Stranded by the State, entitled "Homelessness" premieres today. A collaboration between In These Times and Kartemquin Films. the series is directed, edited and produced by Kartemquin associate Liz Kaar and explores the human impact of Illinois' budget crisis.
Episode 3: Homelessness
Episode 3 of the series examines the effects of the budget crisis on human services in Illinois, with a specific focus on La Casa Norte, a non-profit that provides access to stable housing to youth and families confronting homelessness, as well as delivers comprehensive services such as technology training, education support, employment readiness, case management, therapy, food, clothing and transportation assistance.
Illinois has passed a stopgap funding bill, that provides human services with about 60% funding through the end of 2016. Preventative service organizations such as La Casa Norte have experienced drastic staff shortage, causing the people they serve to be using the most expensive serves possible, such as emergency mental health visits and incarceration. Sol A. Flores, the organization's founder and Executive Director, notes both the moral and economic drawbacks of cutting funding for human services organizations: ultimately it's much more cost-effective to invest in preventative services for young people, children and families, than reactionary services such has incarceration and hospitalization.