|Pamela Fields at the future site of|
The Arc of Meriden-Wallingford's
The agency has already frozen staff wages at just over $11 an hour, making it hard to keep the most talented, while increased health insurance costs have cut in to workers' pay. Increased gas prices have meant that trips for clients, which once included museums across the state, are now largely limited to Meriden. Programs that were located in leased space near the center of the city have been moved to The Arc's main building, saving on rent but leaving the clients with disabilities more isolated.
The state is moving toward increasing its reliance on private nonprofit providers like The Arc to serve people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, closing state-run group homes and closing new admissions to public residential programs.
But at the same time, nonprofit leaders say, the state is starving them financially.