Care about people with disabilities? Urge state leaders to adequately fund supports and services

On Jan. 17, Gov. Hochul will release her 2024-25 Executive Budget. That means there’s still time to make your voice heard. Last year, organizations like Unity House pushed for:

  • an 8.5% COLA (cost-of-living adjustment) to support service providers
  • an additional $4,000 per year for each of our direct support professionals (DSPs)

The wage enhancement didn’t pass and the COLA approved was just 4% – far below the rate of inflation.

Every day, Unity House DSPs empower more than 700 people with disabilities. To retain our critical workforce, Unity House has boosted wages by 20% over the past two years in spite of nearly stagnant state funding increases. Still, about 100 of our positions remain vacant. To overcome our staffing crisis, we’ll need more state support.

Here are two ways to influence decision makers with just a few clicks:

1. Unity House is partnering with the Association for Community Living (ACL) on the Bring it Home campaign. Please take a moment to send an E-letter to Gov. Hochul that urges her to include adequate funding for mental health programs and the DSPs who make them work.

2. Unity House is also partnering with the New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation to encourage state leaders to approve: 1) a 4% COLA for organizations like Unity House that support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and 2) a $4,000 wage enhancement for DSPs. To add your voice, use this link to send an E-Letter to state leaders.

When you’re done sending messages, be proud. Share about it on social media and invite your friends to send messages, too.

Thanks for all you do to support people with disabilities.