The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenging situations for the entire world, including the State of Indiana. Based on state-mandated budget reductions, the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) is eliminating state-funded Community-Based Sheltered Work, and Facility-Based Sheltered Work.
The Arc of Evansville was notified of this decision in July in an email that read, “As of August 14, 2020, DDRS/BDDS will not be reimbursing providers for Community-Based Sheltered Work and Facility-Based Sheltered Work. Eligible individuals will continue to have access to various employment-related services through Indiana’s Home and Community-Based Services Waivers. Within the next week, we will be notifying impacted individuals regarding this change. We understand that this is difficult news. We appreciate your partnership to explore creative solutions to these unique challenges as we work collaboratively to ensure individuals and families have access to the services and supports to live their vision of a good life.”
Plant I will be closing. We will continue to operate the enclaves, such as AmeriQual and MetroNet. The agency plans to offer clients several service options. Day Services For Adults programming at the Training Center will be expanding in the next few weeks. Eligible individuals will continue to have access to various employment-related services provided at the Training Center through Indiana’s Home and Community-Based Services Waivers. Additionally, individuals with disabilities who want to explore competitive integrated employment may receive services through our Community Job Link program. Staff will be reaching out to those we serve and their families to discuss the opportunities available.
This sudden defunding decision will significantly impact many of the individuals with disabilities we serve, their families, and the Arc staff. This is not a decision made by The Arc of Evansville Board of Directors or Executive Staff. We understand the value of Community-Based Sheltered Work and Facility-Based Sheltered Work services provided by The Arc of Evansville. We regret that many Arc staff will experience being laid off, and we have concern for them and their families. There is a possibility that transfers can be offered to employees who want to move to the Training Center or one of the Enclaves, and they have been given the opportunity to reach out to our Human Resources Department to discuss these options.
The Arc of Evansville remains committed to our mission of empowering individuals with disabilities to build relationships, gain independence, and achieve their full potential.