City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz tonight is scheduled to ask aldermen to set priorities for human service efforts by the city next year.
Bobkiewicz, in a memo to aldermen, says staff from several city departments came up in meetings over the summer with goals and strategies they hope to implement in 2015 that span the age spectrum.
Youth (birth to age 16)
Bobkiewicz says the Evanston Public Library can “expand and deepen engagement” with School District 65 and local childcare providers to coordinate programs at the schools and — during out-of-school time — at the library.
Youth and Young adult (ages 16 to 24)
The city manager said this group needs improved services and resources for mental health, social service, substance abuse, academic and employment programs.
Adult (ages 18-54)
Bobkiewicz says at-risk residents in this age group face some of the same challenges as the young adult group but also have additional problems with housing, healthcare and food access.
He says the city hopes to develop a central case management system to provide a single access point for individuals and a way for the city and partner agencies to categorize needs, identify resources and track progress.
Seniors (55 and older)
A case management system, Bobkiewicz said, is also a key tool for addressing the needs of senior citizens.
And, he said, the city needs a comprehensive housing strategy and a single fund to assist with all housing needs for seniors, which could be addressed by reallocating funds from the city’s affordable housing fund.
The memo did not address what the cost of providing the other additional services would be.
More government programs not the answer
As aldermen ponder Evanston's human service efforts they should consider a sobering fact that Johnsons War on Poverty is a failure after spending $22 trillion in 50 years, more spent than all American wars combined.
Robert Rector says, "Johnson asserted that the War on Poverty would actually shrink the welfare rolls and transform the poor from “taxeaters” into “taxpayers.” We all know that was completely incorrect.
"When the War on Poverty began seven percent of children were born outside marriage. Today, 42 percent of children are. By eroding marriage, the welfare state has made many Americans less capable of self-support than they were when the War on Poverty began."
Since 2008, more people in Illinois signed up on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) than were hired for jobs, according to the Illinois Policy Institute. Illinois is the only state to see a double digit increase in SNAP enrollments.
"In dealing with poverty here and around the world, welfare and foreign aid are a Band-Aid. Free enterprise is a cure." — Bono.
"Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other." — Ronald Reagan.
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