Local Human Services Group Recovers After Budget Crisis, Looks To Future

December 26, 2017
 
From left: Elana Whitsitt, Oksana Whitsitt and Brooke Riddell organize gifts as volunteers gathered to wrap gifts for the women and children of Courage Connection at Trinity Lutheran Church, Urbana, Il on December 15, 2016.

From left: Elana Whitsitt, Oksana Whitsitt and Brooke Riddell organize gifts as volunteers gathered to wrap gifts for the women and children of Courage Connection at Trinity Lutheran Church, Urbana, Il on December 15, 2016.

Darrell Hoemann / C-U Citizen Access

As we look back on 2017, one of the big stories was the two-year budget crisis that finally came to an end. The lack of a budget hit several human service agencies hard, including Champaign-based Courage Connection.

Courage Connection helps women and families in crisis. Isak Griffiths is the executive director at Courage Connection and she says the budget crisis brought the agency to the brink, and people who needed help didn’t come to Courage Connection thinking the agency would close. "We spent several weeks where every Friday we weren’t sure we were going to make it to next week. And, that level of uncertainty is terrifying on a day-to-day basis," Griffiths said.

Griffiths says the Courage Connection staff was amazing and continued to help people even during uncertain times.

Several people had to leave their jobs during the crisis, but Griffiths says they are hiring people again, now that the state has a budget. 

Griffiths adds that she is grateful for the several private donors who helped and continue to help Courage Connection stay open.

Story source: WILL