Philly health official says state budget cuts imperil mental health services, homeless

The state entity that oversees city finances got an update Tuesday on just how much Pennsylvania  budget cuts will hurt the city of Philadelphia.  

Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority finance director Rob Dubow says the substantial cuts proposed in the state budget will have a direct impact on city finances.

“Between the block grant that they put together and the cuts to the health department, it’s about $42 million,” he said. “We’re particularly concerned about the impact on mental health services and how this is going to affect the homeless population.”

City Health Commissioner Dr. Donald Schwartz said the cuts will specifically hurt those with mental-health and substance-abuse issues.

“People who would be institutionalized will lose a lot of their supports, and people who have serious substance-abuse issues won’t be able to get treatment in a timely fashion,” Schwartz said.

While the final amount the city stands to lose has not been determined, city officials intend to fight the cuts during the budget debate in Harrisburg.

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