Caregivers and homecare clients send valentines to the governor

A group of San Diego providers show off the valentines they created while telling the Governor “We are the Heart of Homecare!”

A group of San Diego providers show off the
valentines they created while telling the Governor:
“We are the Heart of Homecare!”

On a day that is about showing care for one another, San Diego homecare providers and clients gathered to make valentines for Governor Jerry Brown. Our message? We are the “Heart of Homecare” and Governor Brown’s proposed budget will hurt the families, seniors, and people with disabilities who depend on the state’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program.

Just a few months ago, a federal decision finally included in-home caregivers in the basic overtime protections that all other workers enjoy. This ruling, part of the Fair Labor Standards Act, will take effect on January 1, 2015.

But instead of embracing equal pay and fair treatment for low-wage caregivers, the Brown Administration has proposed to slash their hours and institute a caregiving temp pool, driving caregivers further into poverty and jeopardizing the continuity of care for our clients. His proposed budget also continues a 7% cut to in-home care for seniors and people with disabilities, despite the state’s $6.3 billion surplus.

Caregiver Heather Ayers helps her son Zachery to decorate their valentine

Caregiver Heather Ayers helps her son Zachery to decorate their valentine

“I care for three people, one who is 55 and two who are 80. Even though we aren’t family, I care for them with the personal attention that everyone deserves. With more cuts to this program, my clients would end up in an institution and I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills,” said Theresa Blackwell, one of the caregivers who sent a message to the governor.

Angelica Valentine, who cares for her medically fragile 43-year-old son, said that cuts to the IHSS program in recent years have already forced her family into crisis. At one point they were homeless and lived in a car for 3 days while she frantically searched for housing. “We already earn below the poverty level for cost of living in San Diego County. It is next to impossible, if not impossible, to find housing on our current wages. It will be totally impossible if lawmakers cut our hours.”

We are working with our lawmakers to educate them about the importance of IHSS and our caregivers so that when it comes time to vote on the budget, they know not to limit provider hours or continue the 7% cut to IHSS. The next budget proposal comes in May and the voting happens in June, which is why we are working so hard to get the word out to Jerry Brown and Sacramento lawmakers about not cutting the heart of homecare!

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Paid for by United Domestic Workers of America Action Fund, sponsored by United Domestic Workers of America. Not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.

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