Friday, December 3, 2010

Another Example of the Dangers of Overzealous Budget Cutting

The first to fall in times of tight money are often the most innovative programs.  The NY Times has an excellent article from a writer with The Bay Citizen on a program named Caduceus which seeks to provide services to people who are severely mentally ill and homeless.  The program relies on donated time and since its population is unable to meet even very basic eligibility requirements, in some cases things as simple as filling out forms, has difficulty accessing funding.  It is however very cheap due to its structure.  Despite this, the program is unable to secure funding to maintain itself and will be wound down withdrawing services from these individuals.  More traditional service systems will supposedly fill this need, whether they can effectively remains to be seen.  It is likely these other programs will however cost more than one that relied on donated time.  Programs like this are always the first to go when the calls are for budget cuts, rather than for reform which tends to have better long run impacts on both programs and budgets.

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