Adult Day Services moving forward without government funding - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Employees take pay cut to keep program open during federal shutdown

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Adult Day Services of Wilmington began moving forward without New Hanover County funding Monday. Adult Day Services of Wilmington began moving forward without New Hanover County funding Monday.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT)- Adult Day Services of Wilmington began moving forward without federal funding Monday.  The facility provides social activity and caretaking for the elderly and disabled. 

The program director at Adult Day Services, Jennifer Riker, said she first learned last Friday that the county couldn't funnel any funding due to the federal government shutdown.  Riker said that she will still petition for county dollars, but will keep the business going regardless.

"We're going to continue on, and I don't know how long I can make it work, but I'm going to do my best to make it work," said Riker.

At Riker's plea to the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners, Chairman Woody White said there is nothing that county government can do to help with federal money.

"When those federal dollars go away because our leaders in Washington can't get along, we have no options," said White. "Our 100 counties in the state don't have the option of raising property taxes to fund federal programs.

Riker said that the program would have to lose seven of its clients, due to the lack of funding.  One of those clients is Elliott Reynolds.

"It's not right," said Reynolds.  "We pay taxes all our lives and now we need help and we can't get it."

Riker said that her employees all pledged to take a pay cut in order to keep all of the clients in the program.  One employee, Katie Payne, has been with the business since 2009.  She said taking a pay cut is not going to be easy.

"It's gonna be hard on every one of us," said Payne.  "We all live paycheck to paycheck pretty much here so it was a big sacrifice for each and every one of us, but we all felt it was necessary thing to do and the right thing to do."

White said Monday night that he feels for the families making sacrifices, but he suggests they contact elected leaders in Washington, DC for relief.

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