(Cleveland) – Supporters kicked off the effort to pass Issue 1 for Health and Human Services Monday morning at MetroHealth Medical Center. They say Issue 1 protects critical health and human services available to children, seniors, families, and those facing a range of crisis situations across Cuyahoga County.
"Hundreds of thousands of area children, families and seniors depend on these lifesaving services," explained Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald. He continued, "State and federal funding cuts, have put these programs at risk. We must ensure these vital programs will be there for all of us — when we need them most — by voting FOR Issue 1."
During the event, residents took to the stage to tell their personal stories of determination, help, and healing; and urged every voter to stand with them in their support for Issue 1.
Jen Scibana, a Cleveland area resident involved in a car accident that nearly took her life, shared her story of healing after being critically injured and almost losing both arms.
Jen's life was saved by Metro Life Flight and the Level 1 Trauma and Burn Center at MetroHealth Medical Center. During the event, Jen explained that, "I would not be here today if not for the services provided by the Health and Human Services Levy.
County Councilwoman Yvonne Conwell said, "Voting FOR Issue 1 ensures that critical health and human services remain available to children, seniors, families, and those facing a range of crisis situations across Cuyahoga County."
Conwell says state and federal funds that support these programs are being slashed; these cuts combined with declines in local property values are putting the services in jeopardy. Without voter approval, FitzGerald says these programs will lose $76 million in funding by the end of next year, forcing deep cuts to critical emergency services, programs that protect children, help those people living with mental illness and a variety of services that seniors depend on.
Levy supported programs include:
Programs to protect children from abuse and neglect.
Critical emergency services like the Level One Trauma and Burn Center at MetroHealth, Metro Life Flight and the intensive care unit for newborns.
Early childhood and preschool education programs that ensure children enter school healthy and ready to learn.
Helping seniors to continue to live in their own homes with home health care and support services.
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(Copyright © 2013 by Clear Channel, all rights reserved. Photo by WTAM 1100.)