Quanada may be forced to cut services

Another social service agency soon may fall victim to Illinois' budget woes.

Quanada in Quincy has not received a payment from the Illinois Department of Human Services since December.

And money from the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault hasn't come since February.

That has left the agency with a $230,000 hole in its finances

KHQA's Jarod Wells talked to the new executive director of Quanada to find out what cuts may be looming, and what that may mean for the domestic violence and sexual assault victims it serves.

Quanada Exeutive Director Megan Duesterhaus said, "We need to get some money coming in order to keep providing the services."

Megan Duesterhaus has been the Executive Director of Quanada in Quincy for only about two months. Already she's having to look at cutting some services because of late payments from the state.

Duesterhaus said, "It would mean, more likely, not have as many clients staying at the shelter or cutting back on the number of clients counselors can have at any one time, because we're asking them to take on some additional duties they don't normally do."

Quanada normally has 18 beds for women and children affected by domestic violence or sexual assault. Clients who need that space this month will have a place to go.

Duesterhaus said, "We're not going to be turning clients into the street that are already here come June 1st."

But if Quanada doesn't get its state payments soon, the agency may have to start turning people away after June 1st.

Duesterhaus said, "Because of not just the current budget crisis, but anticipating the cuts that we know are coming for fiscal year 2011, we're going to have to reduce the number of clients we can serve at any one time."

Quanada is budgeting for a 10% cut in state funds for the next fiscal year, and a seven month lag in state reimbursements. But the comptroller's office can't guarantee any timeline for reimbursements. Nevertheless, Duesterhaus says Quanada will continue to do everything it can for clients.

Duesterhaus said, "Don't be afraid to still call us and to seek our services because we will still be here, whether or not the state is supporting us. We have dedicated staff, we have dedicated volunteers, we are doing everything we can to make sure that people aren't put in very dangerous situations because of failure to provide services."

As we told you before Quanada has not received a payment from the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault since February.

Megan Duesterhaus told KHQA Monday, May 17th that agency has been borrowing money to make payments to its centers.

It has now maxed out its line of credit and can no longer borrow any money, that is why it has not been able to make its March reimbursement payments.

Read more about Quanada: Services in jeopardy 3rd grader donates to Quanada