HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - People with disabilities are urging state lawmakers to help them be independent.

One non-profit says funding has been cut nearly $300,000, which is money that's needed to help people live on their own instead of nursing homes.

Independent living centers help hundreds of disabled people.

When you hear their stories, you can understand why this money is so important to them.

"Not only do I get to be a productive member of society, but I get to give back,” said Jade Vail.

Jade Vail had a special visitor, Susan Bysiewicz, Connecticut's Lieutenant Governor.

The Hartford location is one of five independent living centers.

Those with all kinds of disabilities learn how to shop, apply for benefits, and get job training.

Vail went there to get help, she was homeless, but now she works here.

"We want to live the same lives as everyone else. We want to be independent and productive,” said Vail.

Getting though life with cerebral palsy has been challenging but not enough to keep Vail from what's most important, living on her own.

State budget cuts have hurt some on their services.

"These are exciting stories and I think it’s important to have public private partnerships,” said Bysiewicz.

"Not only do we save the state money by providing services at the independent living centers, but we give people a sense of independence,” said Jaclyn Pinney, Independence Unlimited.

The executive director for independence unlimited says it would cost much more to place people in nursing homes.

That is not the way Melissa Thompson wants to live. She went blind in her 20s, she has a family and also work at the center.

"It's helped me a lot. Instead of sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself, just having these skills is very important,” said Thompson.

People like Thompson help others who are disabled learn to pay bills, schedule rides and use public transportation.

They're hoping the budget coming out next week restores their funding.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Digital Content Producer

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