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ARRM is an active member of the Best Life Alliance, a statewide coalition of more than 130 organizations, people with disabilities, families and supporters advocating for Minnesota’s Home & Community-Based Services. Founded in 2014, this coalition was previously known as The 5% Campaign.
Minnesota’s effective Home & Community- Based Services (HCBS) allow people with intellectual and physical disabilities to receive services tailored to meet their needs – whether that means help getting to work or complex 24/7 medical care. These essential services foster skill development, provide job coaching and medical care, ensure health and safety, and much more. They allow people with disabilities to contribute to their communities and stay as active and independent as possible.
Right now the foundation of the system - a strong and stable direct care workforce - is crumbling away. Direct care workers who assist people with disabilities have demanding, highly-skilled, professional jobs and should receive competitive wages. $12.32/hour is the average wage of HCBS direct care workers in Minnesota, and many earn less. This pay is directly tied to state reimbursement rates set by lawmakers and that pay has not kept up with rising costs over the past decade. Due to these low wages, more than 8,700 unfilled HCBS caregiver and staff jobs exist in Minnesota today.
Without maintenance, the entire system is at risk. People with disabilities and providers cannot hire the staff they need. There is a huge strain on overworked direct care staff, and providers struggling to recruit, train, retain and operate with high turnover rates
Action Needed in 2018
Reforms were passed by the 2017 Minnesota legislature to help set HCBS providers on a more sustainable workforce path, but they will not take full effect until future years. Best Life Alliance is grateful for the many legislators who worked hard to ensure the passage of these reforms that will, over the long-term, strengthen community-based disability services.
However, action is critical now to help stabilize this workforce and the community-based disability services system. Best Life Alliance’s 2018 legislation is in development and will help address these critical issues. We invite you to join Best Life Alliance to strengthen services, communities, and local businesses statewide while supporting people more than 73,000 people disabilities and 80,00 direct care workers to live their best life.
Learn how you can get involved
View our 2017 bill co-authors
Download Resources about The Best Life Alliance
2018 Best Life Alliance Fact Sheet and Messages
Best Life Alliance Legislator Site Visit Tool Kit
Meet Minnesota's DSPs
Election and Voter Resources
Learn More About the Best Life Alliance
Ways to get Involved
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