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Impact of Budget Cuts on In-Home Supportive Services Consumers in San Francisco
San Francisco State University (SFSU) faculty researchers from the Department of Economics partnered with the In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority (IHSS) on a project to understand the impact of state budget cuts on the lives of a vulnerable group of low-income senior and disabled receiving IHSS services in San Francisco.
Impending budget cuts prompted IHSS to identify questions and to survey to its consumers asking them to describe how reduction of services would impact their lives. IHSS provided the researchers with its database for demographic information on the respondents.
More than 4500 consumers, representing a third of the IHSS consumer base, responded with detailed accounts of the devastating effects that any reduction in services or monthly grant support would have on their own lives as well as on their providers’ lives.
SFSU faculty and students transcribed and analyzed these responses using qualitative and quantitative research methods. A research brief and a report were presented to the community partner to publicize the plight of its consumers.
The study found that any reductions to In-Home Support Services and grants would have devastating effects. Faculty and student participation in this community-based research demonstrates university engagement to provide advocacy and to carry out pertinent and time-sensitive research.
In addition to learning qualitative research methods, the students came to understand the assets, interests and needs within communities. Faculty benefited from engaging in opportunities for professional growth. The community partner was provided with a presentation of critical information to make a case for lower cuts in Sacramento.
Anoshua Chaudhuri, Economics
San Francisco State University
Donna Calame, San Francisco In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority
Grace Yoo, San Francisco State University
Key words: economics, health/health education/health disparities, San Francisco