CHICAGO (CBS) — A story you’ll see only on 2.
They’ve been together for 27 years.
And when a Chicago man who has cerebral palsy learned his caregiver was no longer getting money from the state, he reached out to CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli for help.
Stephanie Elliott is showing us one of her time sheets with the Illinois Department of Human Services. It said April 1 through 15 and she has yet to receive any money. It’s been the situation since the end of March.
“I can’t keep doing this,” Elliot said.
What she’s doing is taking care of Clarence Clemons.
“He has no use of his hands. I do everything for him,” Elliot said.
It’s something she’s been doing for more than 25 years. And when the money stopped coming in, Elliott wasn’t about to stop showing up at Clarence’s South Loop apartment.
“That’s abandonment,” she said.
“I would be in a nursing home or I’d probably be dead,” Clemons said.
So this master’s degree holder, who invented this foot control to navigate his chair, was bound and determined to get Stephanie the money she earns by bathing, dressing and feeding him each day.
I was parked working for CBS 2 on Michigan Avenue when Clemons pulled up alongside the vehicle in his chair. At considerable risk, told me about Stephanie’s dilemma. He wanted her story told and wouldn’t take no for an answer.
How did Stephanie feel about Clemon’s actions?
“Wow, it’s touching,” she said as she begins to cry. “You know I felt alone in this. But it just touched me to hear that, you know so much I’m going through to know somebody really actually cares”
Officials at the Illinois Department of Human Services said they’ve identified the issue and are reaching out to the parties involved.
They believe it’s an isolated case, but urged anyone with questions about home services program payments to call 1-877-581-3690.