MN DSPs Need Your Help!
“When you can’t support yourself, how do you support someone else?” This is the question raised by CCRI caregiver Danielle Weller. While the services provided are the main priority and focus at CCRI, to realistically maintain the high level of service offered, discussion must sometimes revolve around funding. Funding for salaries of Direct Support Professionals (DSP) is a result of government funding, and therefore can not change without going through the process of altering state legislation.
On March 14, eighteen people from CCRI traveled to the Minnesota Capitol to advocate for better pay for DSPs in Minnesota. DSPs provide services to people with intellectual and physical disabilities and those services are tailored to meet the needs of the person supported. Right now, the foundation of the system—a strong and stable direct care workforce—is crumbling. The average pay for DSPs in Minnesota is $12.32/hour (many earn less) and is set by lawmakers. That pay has not kept up with rising costs over the past decade.
CCRI Client Mitch Benson said this about DSPs: “They help me with everything I can’t take care of so I can live and still enjoy life. And to think that they do that, at a fraction of the level [of compensation] they deserve!”
Perspectives like this should reinforce the need for Minnesota legislators to show support for the more than 80,000 DSPs across the state. If passed, the proposed bill would increase pay for Minnesota DSPs by 4% in 2017 and 4% in 2018, which is a step in the right direction to attracting a skilled workforce. Click here to learn more about the SF 669 bill.
You can make a difference and advocate for the more than 73,000 people with disabilities who rely on their DSPs daily by calling or mailing your local legislators to express your opinion on the bill. Click here to find a list of local representatives.