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When I read the article on April 4 about the YWCA closing down its supported living services program for disabled adults, I was shocked to read the reason YWCA CEO Merry Lee Olson presented for closing their supported living program: "Part of our purpose is to not duplicate services, and we found that other organizations were doing what we (are/were?) doing."

I am glad that not every other supported living provider in town has the same mindset of Olson because we would only have one provider supporting all of the disabled adults who need it. The list of disabled waiting for services is already extensive. If all the other providers decided “not to duplicate services,” the wait list would be longer and the time waiting for placement would be infinity!

Olson's reason of not wanting to “duplicate services” doesn't make sense to me. If that was the case, then why aren't they closing down their day care, women's shelter, and employment and training center programs? Early Childhood Center, HRDC and Head Start, day care centers are already out there, so isn't the YWCA's day care duplicating those services? There's The Women's and Family Shelter. Doesn't the YWCA Gateway House duplicate those services? And there's Vocational Rehabilitation and Job Service, and HRDC. Doesn't YWCA's employment and training center duplicate what they do? Why isn't the YWCA closing down these programs if it's so important to “not duplicate services?”

Janet Comstock

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Billings

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