New York State and City legislators represent one of the most diverse populations in the country comprised of people from a wide range of economic, racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds and circumstances. Yet, women from almost all groups will be disproportionately affected by cuts to programs and services around the State and New York City.
Budget cuts will severely affect:
Childcare subsidies including day care and after-school programs
Residential schools for children with disabilities
New York City homeless shelters and housing subsidies for homeless adults (who are mostly women with children)
Non-residential domestic violence programs
Mental health community residential programs
The cuts will have an enormous adverse effect on women’s lives and the well-being of their families. It is estimated that 59 to 75 percent of family or informal caregivers are women. Any program cut that makes it more difficult to look after a child, a person with a developmental disability, or a senior disproportionately affects women. Without a child care subsidy, many women and families will face tough choices about how to pay for rent, utilities and food.
The proposed cuts to family shelters and the Advantage housing subsidy deliver a double whammy to women. Households headed by single mothers make up the majority -- 80.8 percent -- of homeless adults with families in the shelter system. Many of these women are escaping from abusive partners: 28% of families were homeless because of domestic violence in 2008.
The Advantage housing subsidy program provides one path out of the shelter system and into permanent housing. Elimination of Advantage housing subsidies means that 15,000 families, or roughly 45,000 individuals, will be back in the emergency shelter system or on the streets. Thousands of woman and children will have to remain in a shelter or return to an abusive situation.
“Despite the encouraging and wonderful gains and the changes for women which have occurred in my lifetime, there is still room to advance and to promote correction of the remaining deficiencies and imbalances.”
-Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman U.S. Supreme Court Justice
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