Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Like many moms, Amy Lounsbery struggled when her son Nathan moved out of the nest and into his own place.
"He did great. I couldn't make eye contact with anyone for two weeks. I cried at the drop of a hat,” Lounsbery recalled.
Nathan and his three roommates live with a caretaker provided by Enable. It's one of more than a dozen agencies helping the developmentally disabled in Central New York. But changes could be on the horizon. Enable and other groups are facing six percent cuts proposed by the Governor.
"This is on top of a nine percent budget cut that we've taken over the past few years. We've had layoffs. We've done everything we can to preserve services,” said Enable Executive Director Prudence York.
York estimates the cuts for non-profits would add up to $3.5 million for Onondaga County alone. York has already reduced her administrative staff. The next option is removing the caretakers who help clients like Nathan live on their own or find jobs.
"He deserved that same independence that everyone else has. So, he should be able to be established in his own life,” Lounsbery said.
For Nathan's parents, there are broader concerns for a son they'd hoped would have a stable future, long after they're gone.
"What I'm afraid of is that, in the long run, he could end up in a state institution if the not for profits are closed down and they are a higher cost to the average Joe and I think that is what people should know,” said Nathan’s dad Mac Beneway.
Several local groups that offer transitional living and day services are joining forces for a rally to oppose the Governor’s proposed cuts. They meet this Friday at noon outside the state office building.