Human Rights Commission questions Quincy's general assistance program

Letter sent to Supervisor Schrage

The Quincy Township Supervisor's office has been pressed with some questions from the Human Rights Commission.

Early this year, the commission wrote a letter asking several questions about how general assistance funds are distributed.

Last year out of 800 applicants, only 346 were approved.

"One thing we hear when we ask the General Assistance office about that is that they hand out the applications and they don't come back," Claire Safford, who served on the Human Rights Commission for years said.

Safford said the commission tried to organize open discussions about their concerns about general assistance for years after hearing complaints from people who applied.

"It's not a handout, it's a workfare program where people who don't qualify for federal or state assistance can come. There is a lengthy application involved and it contains a lot of information that I myself would have difficulty pulling out," Safford explained.

Concerns arose when members of the commission noticed the state of the economy was deteriorating but the number of assistance awarded was not going up. From that basis they formed their major questions.

"How many people actually come to the office and apply for assistance, how many people are given an application, and how many of those complete the application. Also, how many actually receive aid as a result," Jim Burns who was a longtime member of the Quincy Human Rights Commission said.

The commission will have a meeting with Supervisor Schrage on July 9th about some of its concerns.

Monday afternoon a call was put into the Township Supervisor's office, but he has not yet returned the call.