JACKSON COUNTY, MI (WILX) – A program that helps families who cannot afford car seats is in the cutting phase, as budget cuts are forcing Jackson County to get rid of the program, leaving local families in a difficult situation.
Budget cuts that force Jackson County to get rid of the car seat program (Source: WILX).
Hundreds of families each year get help from the car seat program and with the last day of the program in four days, both the public and organizations that depend on the program do not know what they will do without it.
"When we first learned it, we thought about what we are going to do for families because we have accessed that program for families so much," said Shelley Hewver of the Community Action Agency.
Those families rely on the car seats of the program, seats that they are legally required to have and cannot afford.
"Car seats are expensive, especially when looking at a family that may have more than one child, so those costs add up very quickly," Hewver said.
The Jackson County car seat program not only provides seats for low-income families, but also teaches them how to install and tie their children.
"We spent between 45 minutes and an hour with them. We even got out to their car to make sure the seat is placed correctly," said Kellie Underwood, director of the car seat program.
But the board of county commissioners recently voted 5 to 4 to end the program as part of some important budget cuts, ironically, the decision was made during the safety week for child passengers.
"The board of commissioners decided to reduce the programs in general and, with that, we asked the health department with a budget of more than 8 million dollars to reduce $ 400,000 of its budget and one of the programs they chose was the program of car seats. " Steve Shotwell, member of the board of commissioners, said.
A Jackson County Health Department health official said that this is one of the biggest budget cuts they have seen and that it is resulting in the elimination of the $ 60,000 program.
"We took them seriously and did our best, money was a factor, but also how many we have served to date and how many we can continue to do," said Rashmi Travis, a health officer.
The health department is now asking for help from Henry Ford, health and police loyalty, to find a new way to provide car seats.
"We are willing to partner and continue to offer some level of location that people know and can find," Travis said.
For concerns about the car seat, you can contact
– Direct line UM CS Mott Buckle: 734-763-2251
– Car seats on the Facebook page of South Central Michigan.
Parents can also call 211 for help with everything from car seats to baby formula, diapers and cribs.
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. (tagsToTranslate) Budget cuts that force Jackson County to get rid of the car seat program