Independent living affected by state budget cuts - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Independent living affected by state budget cuts

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MISSOULA - People living with disabilities were celebrated internationally on Sunday.

But their independent living resources are now being cut down in Montana, according to Independent Living Center, Inc., Advocacy Coordinator Travis Hoffman.

International Day for Persons with Disabilities was established by the United Nations and aims to promote the rights and well-being of this population.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services lost funding as part of the $49 million cut from the state budget this fall. 

Some of those programs cut directly impact the lives of people living with disabilities, and trying to do so independently, Hoffman said. Hoffman says cuts to personal assistance services and others do not bode well for the future of this community.

"People may not be able to get all of their needs met so for some people, it could mean going to a nursing home or assisted living to where they have less freedom, but there is somebody there, and so that's one of the really big issues," said

He says rural Montana can be a particularly more difficult place to live for someone wanting to live independently.

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