Rep. Mark Maddox and CDS

16 05 2008

Community Development Services, which benefits from the Lions Club Telethon held each year in Paducah, is going through a financial crisis.

Rep. Mark Maddox is trying to help:

State Rep. Mark Maddox, a longtime board member of CDS, has taken up the fight to recoup the losses imposed on community providers by DMRS. Maddox, whose sister Janet is also a CDS client, is sponsoring an amendment to the appropriations bill that would return the 6.1 percent that has been taken away since January.

Here’s what’s going on:

They look forward to it every year, but this year, for the first time in three decades, the clients of Community Developmental Services were unable to attend the annual West Tennessee Spring Dance, held last Thursday night in Jackson.
At least 1100 people attended the dance, held at the West Tennessee Fair Grounds, but 150 clients and staff of CDS – a community-based, nonprofit organization in Martin serving the needs of developmentally disabled adults in Northwest Tennessee – were conspicuously absent.
“The dance is the social event of the year,” says CDS Executive Director Cathy Cate. “Our folks anticipate it all year long, and this is the first time we’ve ever not been able to take them.”
CDS is also skipping out on its annual participation in the state’s Special Olympics, being held this weekend in Nashville, and has made the decision to reduce its upcoming summer camp from four nights to one – all because of recent financial pressures.
“We can no longer afford to pay for the overtime of our staff, and for all the gas it takes to participate in these events,” says Cate.
In January, Tennessee’s Division of Mental Retardation Services enacted a 6.1 percent payment reduction to community providers caring for some of Tennessee’s most vulnerable citizens. The cuts, intended to last through the end of June, have translated into a $13,000 per month loss for CDS.

“To get itself out of debt, DMRS is putting the agencies in debt, and the people we serve at risk,” says Cate.

This is tragic. CDS has a long history of helping people all over west Tennessee. Cate told me that her staff hasn’t had a raise in four years.

Programs are taking a hit.

CDS is a good organization. I hope they can get what they need to survive.




One response

16 05 2008

I hate this. I really hate this.
When I went to the Christmas party last year, a worker warned me that something terrible was on the horizon and to keep my eyes open for it and now it has come into the light.
Think I need to make some phone calls.

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