To the editor:
For all my 40 years of living in Lawrence and working at a local nonprofit, I have always considered our community as “resource rich,” not extravagantly so but effectively so. We have built excellent nonprofits, churches, medical care, civic organizations and businesses that collaborate on trying to meet the complicated needs of citizens with innate or acquired challenges and barriers to a healthy productive and included life.
SRS has always been a critical component of these successful local partnerships. SRS staff don’t just process applications but serve as an expert link between the person in need, the local services and the complicated state and federal funding mechanisms, regulations and requirements that help support those services.
In a recent Journal-World article about the possibility of continuing federal funding in the absence of state funding for the Kansas Arts Commission, a funder said something to the effect that state government needs to be a fair partner and you can’t take a piece out of the whole without unraveling the structure. Removing that critical local link from our community by closing the SRS office will result in service fragmentation, confusion, helplessness, and an overall poorer community in every sense of the word. Even if you are lucky enough to never need this kind of lifeline, all of us will feel the impact to our community, and we will be the less for it. Please let this administration know that, in every aspect of this ill-conceived decision, they are not behaving as a fair partner.