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Commentary by Director of Misericordia where David Axelrod’s daughter lives in Chicago

This commentary is by the director of Misericordia where David Axelrod’s (former chief of staff for President Obama) daughter lives in Chicago.

Sister Rosemary is talking OUR language! Same issues concerning “institutions”

Misericordia Heart of Mercy Center
Dear Friends,
Most of us are fully aware of the financial crisis that the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago face! From an outsider’s view, there still seem to be areas of excessive waste which should be abolished on every level of Government. This would take political courage on the part of our elected officials. My prayer is that they will leave politics aside and do what’s right for all our citizens, especially those who have no voice in the existing political system.
Many of you are aware that Misericordia is proud to claim many good friends in Government. (Yes, we do bribe them with cookies.) Most have taken a tour and without any exception, they are proud to be our friends and become believers that we are a very legitimate way to share life with persons with disabilities. This is so, in spite of the fact that there is a national trend that holds “big is bad” and all persons with disabilities, no matter how severely involved they are, belong in isolated houses in the community.
Recently, we have been notified that in the 2013 State budget all 400 of the 600 residents living in Campus homes licensed as ICF-DD (Intermediate Care Facilities-Development Disabilities) will have no funding available for home visits, hospitalizations, or rehabilitation periods. The exceptions to this cut-back are the 200 residents who are children or who live in our seven houses in the neighborhood and in our apartment building.
As many of you are aware, Misericordia Heart of Mercy Center stands in contradiction to the national trend that all persons, no matter how disabled they are, should be living in isolated houses in the neighborhood. We believe in these isolated houses in the neighborhoods for a segment of our population who are more abled and do enjoy this environment. We will be opening our 8th house in the fall and our 9th home in the neighborhoods in the New Year. But the reason our residents living in the neighborhoods have great lives is because our campus complements their daily lives beautifully. I still hold that if they did not have access to our Campus, their lives would be more restricted than those living on Campus.
Is it not ironic that the residents living in our homes on the campus are the ones who have been selected by the “powers that be” to be limited by this home-visit restriction? Is it another way the bureaucrats who have input into the budget priorities, are telling us we might be good, but we are still big – and therefore unacceptable? This might be too judgmental on my part. If it is, I apologize!
As many of you are aware, Misericordia has a huge annual deficit which we cover through fundraising. Yes, our fundraising is successful but it demands much sacrifice on the part of everyone who works so hard within our home. You see in our newsletters how involved we all are in the many fundraising events throughout the year. You also see how many wonderful individuals, groups, and organizations share our ministry with us through their fundraising and volunteer efforts.
This recent cut-back for 400 of our 600 residents has the potential to increase our 2013 deficit to 14 1⁄2 million dollars, which must be raised through private fundraising. In spite of this, we will be announcing in the fall a major capital development drive which will provide new housing for more of our aging population. Today we have 16 residents older than 60 and 68 residents older than 50 years of age. This is a new phenomenon.
So, dear Friends, life continues to be challenging! But we face it with great confidence and hope. We know we are doing God’s work for the Lord has walked this journey with us throughout these many years. We feel His Presence in your loving friendship and generous support. You have never disappointed us and we are truly blessed to claim you as our family, our friends.Enjoy the summer!
We hope to see you at our September 9th Family Festival. It’s always great fun for all! God bless you and yours.
Sister Rosemary Connelly, RSM Executive Director

Permanent link to this article: http://www.familiesspeakingup.com/2013/01/07/in-the-news-families-speaking-up/

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