Lack of funds shuts down special needs programs

Posted at 11:51 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 02:51:02-05

Hundreds of special needs adults and children are left in limbo after two programs are shut down due to a lack of funding.

President Jim Baldwin confirmed that Bakersfield ARC was forced to close, BARC On the Move and BARC Packaging.

The cuts will affect 110 developmentally disabled adults and 25 staff members. Baldwin says the closures come after years of not receiving adequate funding from the state.

Similar cuts are being made in other developmental disability services. Express Transit is a company that transports special needs patients from after school programs to their homes. They've lost 96 clients that are all minors and have had to let go of 20 staff members. The cuts were made on December 31st.

Both organizations say this problem stems from more than a decade old budget freeze and as the cost of operating their programs increases, they just can't keep up.

State assemblyman Rudy Salas says he is aware of the issue and is already taking action to challenge Governor Jerry Brown’s budget and hopes there will be a change in May, when the state’s budget can be revised.