Joan Vennochi’s column, “Nonprofit Greed’s Real Victims” (April 29), clearly identifies the harm being done by the lack of state oversight of nonprofit, human service agencies.
Persons with disabilities and their families depend on a network of nonprofit companies, almost entirely funded by state contracts, for their services.
Given the rampant abuses by CEOs of nonprofits, is it any wonder that state officials have been hesitant to entrust them with more state funds?
We support common-sense efforts from the Attorney General and Inspector General that call for more transparency and the closure of loopholes around executive compensation for nonprofits. Reform efforts should also address nepotism and do-nothing boards of directors. These reforms are needed, but so are funding increases earmarked for the direct care workers who hold the system together.
Due to the relationships involved, the quality of services is compromised when staff turnover is high. But given current funding, many workers can’t afford to stay in the profession. It’s been more than five years since the state increased funding for direct care staff wages, and as the economy improves, staff turnover will again put a strain on support services for people with disabilities.
Over the past few years, thousands of direct support workers have joined our union to have a stronger voice to improve funding and the quality of services for the people they support every day.
Susan Tousignant, President, SEIU Local 509