Bluebonnet Trails Community Services Brace for State Budget Cuts
Bluebonnet Trails Community Services recently announced 2010 was a record-breaking year providing services to 15,719 Texans in the eight-county region it serves, which includes Lee County. Last year, BTCS provided services to 581 Lee County residents, including 454 in mental health services; 73 in developmental disability services; 58 in early childhood intervention services and 22 in substance abuse services.
County Judge Paul Fischer said, “Bluebonnet Trails Community Services is literally saving lives and tax payers’ money in Lee County. The critical care they provide many of our citizens helps keeps those persons in need of crisis mental health services from hurting themselves, hurting others and ultimately out of jail or the emergency room where it would cost our taxpayers far more to intervene.”
Mayor Robert Willrich, the Bluebonnet Trails Board Member representing Lee County, said, “It is a privilege to provide these lifechanging, and in many cases, life-saving services. Every Texan should have the opportunity to live a full, productive life and the services we provide make that possible for many who otherwise might not have that chance.”
Bluebonnet Trails Community Services receives approximately $16 million annually in General Revenue funding from the state of Texas. As a result of the proactive care provided by Bluebonnet Trails, an estimated $28 million is saved annually by the communities served due to a corresponding reduction in more costly emergent medical care, unnecessary incarcerations, absences from work or school and increased demands on general practice physicians.
“We are grateful for the strong support of the legislature in providing us the resources to serve persons within Lee County. Recent legislation has initiated innovative services allowing us to successfully meet the needs of the client as well as our partners in the school systems, primary healthcare system, law enforcement agencies, courts and jails within Lee County. Each of these community partners shares in the balance of critical services for the client and family members,” said Bluebonnet Trails Executive Director, Andrea Richardson. “To this end, we are very concerned about cuts to funding being discussed by state lawmakers. Any budget reductions will equate to a reduction or elimination of services and that could have catastrophic results in the communities we serve.”