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Letter: Cuomo must keep promise to protect most vulnerable

Cuomo must keep promise to protect most vulnerable

Five years ago, our daughter lived in a state-certified supervised apartment. She walked to a sheltered workshop five days a week, working from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. She was happy, healthy, took pleasure in built-in friendships, thrived on routine and enjoyed the fruits of her labors with a paycheck.

Fast forward to today; she is living alone in an apartment in the community. A pre-vocational program occupies only five hours of her week. Her Pathways-to-Employment program ended this past December. Her day-habilitation portion of a “blended” program closed in December 2014, and the paid employment portion has dwindled to only two hours per week.

She is sad, regressing, confused by an ever-changing schedule and struggling financially because of the ever-increasing rents in community living, and little or no rent subsidy increased in self-directed programs.

It is difficult to watch someone wait for a van that is not coming to take her to a job that is not there.

Our daughter has developmental delays and autism; she is legally blind and has a moderate form of cerebral palsy, and back and knee issues. Funding cuts and state changes in service provisions have resulted in her being more socially isolated and more financially deprived then ever before.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, be reminded, once again, of your promise to protect, support and adequately fund programs and housing for these neediest and most vulnerable New York legal citizens.

Patricia Lawrence

Williamsville