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Ongoing Statewide Issue Affects Local Providers

January 31, 2018 12:13 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- Minnesota is feeling the pinch from the soaring vacancy rates for the state's lowest wage jobs. Tens of thousands of Minnesotans rely daily on direct care providers, but with about 9,000 open positions, they make up 7 percent of all job vacancies in the state.

Locally, the health and human service providers are taking a hard hit from the shortage, preventing smaller homes unable to compete with livable wages for its staff.

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Linda Driessen is the Executive Director at Bear Creek Service, where they provide a support system and residential housing for people who need support.

Minnesota had a large surplus to fund development projects in the state.

"It does frustrate me. When we heard about the available surplus, we would be able to look into giving some kind of living wage for the staff who work for us, but then it didn't happen," Driessen said.

At Bear Creek Services, it is understaffed. It currently has one direct care provider for every four patients. 

"If that staff does not show up, and we're somehow not communicating, that's four people's lives at risk."


Credits

Vivien Tran

Copyright 2018 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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