Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Sociology and Anthropology: Sociology
The state of Illinois underwent an historic budget impasse that lasted 793 days from July 1, 2015 to August 31, 2017. By not signing the budget, the former Governor Bruce Rauner used a form of shock therapy at the state level to implement his reform agenda. The human social service sector was particularly hit hard. I wanted to investigate how an ecology of homeless service agencies in the central Illinois area strategized and prioritized their decision-making in response to an active crisis. During semi-structured interviews of agency executives and program managers, more was revealed about how they responded to state divestment and the precarious nature of funding in general. The focus was on how agencies sustain their missions. In many ways, the impasse was ‘business as usual.’ This is partly in response to the fact that there was a trend of minimal direct reliance on state funding in my sample. There was also heightened collaboration brought on by a sense of shared tragedy. An agency’s religiosity and use of government grants impacted how they structured services. Tensions or dualities emerged in some informants regarding how they thought about the work that they do and the clients they serve.
Zdansky, Erik William, "Human Social Services in Central Illinois: Making Sense of State Divestment and the State Budget Impasse" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 1317.