Thanks to the advocacy and leadership of CRSA, staff, families, and all of our supporters, Supported Living providers like PSRS across the state recently received the largest benchmark increases in a biennium budget in 27 years!
This budget is in effect July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2019. PSRS gets an increase of $1.25 per hour starting July 2017 plus an increase of an additional $1.00 per hour starting July 2018.
So what does this mean? The new funding will increase wages for all of the direct support staff who work hard to provide services to the individuals we support (about $1 more per hour!). It means that PSRS can recruit and retain more dedicated staff, and reward our tenured employees with the higher wages they deserve. And it means that the individuals we support can build trusting relationships with more consistent staff who are invested in their quality of life and community success.
This is what advocacy looks like. It took a long time, tireless effort, and some setbacks, but with much persistence, we persevered. We are proud. We are excited (and a little tired). We are ready for change!
This funding increase is a great accomplishment – we overcame a difficult budget session with many competing interests. But Supported Living remained in the budget – an acknowledgement from the State of Washington that our Supported Living providers, and the staff who provide these essential and critical supports, have been underfunded and underpaid for too long.
Thank you to all of you who met with legislators, sent emails, made phone calls, attended the rally, engaged in social media campaigns, donated to PSRS, or through other means, made sure our voices were heard in Olympia. And a big thank you to the legislators who made it happen.