Arizona has not faced a financial crisis of this magnitude since World War II, and hard-working families right here in Payson are paying the price.
The state budget has been slashed, and cutting too deeply will jeopardize Arizona’s ability to sustain its core responsibilities — education, public safety and health care. That is why we’re urging Gila County residents to vote yes on Proposition 100.
What services will suffer if Proposition 100 fails? Put simply, if you or a family member or a friend is elderly, disabled, jobless, homeless, hungry, a victim of domestic violence, or need mental health treatment, you need to vote yes on 100.
With the loss of jobs, homes and cars, people who have never had to seek help from public programs are finding that they need assistance for themselves, their children or their elderly parents. Without the temporary tax to fund health and human services, there will be further draconian cuts to these core services. People will find themselves without the basic services they need to survive. If the tax fails, there will be huge budget cuts to all areas of health care, including at Rim Guidance Center, which is already dealing with decreased funding.
The following is a story of how behavioral health services helped one woman. Names have been changed to protect confidentiality.
Adopted as a young child by her aunt and uncle when her mother was imprisoned and father deemed unfit by the Hamilton County Court of Ohio, Jane succumbed to physical, emotional and sexual abuse, eventually being hospitalized for it at age 25.
Jane got into drugs including methamphetamines and lost everything. Along with her girlfriend, she decided an escape from her environment might help, and she abruptly moved east of Payson, to the Christopher Creek area.
After moving, Jane began abusing alcohol, substituting her addiction to drugs. Frequently, Jane would cut herself, a behavior she had learned during high school to chastise herself for not being good.
Still, she strived to improve herself.
“When I suffered a nervous breakdown six years ago, my life partner pushed me into going to Rim Guidance to get therapy. It was a rocky first year — because I was pushed into it — but I eventually began reaping the benefits of the program.
“My counselor, Lee Kennedy, helped me learn a lot about myself. She encouraged me to set goals and I resisted, never having had them before.”
After continuing counseling for five years, Jane decided to attend a peer support class in January. Their Jane gained the knowledge and ability to formulate achievable goals.
Today, Jane is a volunteer recovery support specialist at Rim Guidance.
“One of the biggest changes is that I now have goals and I reach them. I began with some important dreams, such as getting exercise and going back to school.”
Many people victimized by a lifetime of abuse and struggle suffer low self-esteem and subsequently have never set goals, reached them or grown from these successes.
Occasionally Jane still struggles, but she has learned how to manage life.
“I learned that I have choices in life, and I can think for myself and express emotions. I have experienced huge changes and am a better person for them.”
Stories like this one would not be possible without the help of funding from the temporary tax. Send a message to your community that you support basic health and human services by voting yes.