Homeless youth are the latest group calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to drop his legislative agenda and agree to raise taxes to avoid cuts to their services.
Homeless services are one area of the budget not being funded during the stalemate. Flora Koppel, executive director of Unity Parenting and Counseling in Chicago, says Rauner's budget stance will force many of Illinois' homeless out of shelters and into the streets.
"Unsheltered youth are often sexually exploited, and 28 percent of homeless youth turn to survival sex to eat, to sleep, to stay alive," Koppel said. "Don't criticize that unless you've walked in those shoes."
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The solution offered by advocates is for Rauner to support tax increases to avoid cuts. Zamari Hall of Chicago brought up Rauner's personal wealth when calling for new revenue.
"Then why don't share some of your riches and open the doors to one of your nine homes and give us a place to live?" Hall asked.
The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless says 77 percent of groups helping homeless youth have reduced, eliminated, or will cut back on services because of the budget stalemate.