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“People need these services,” Special-needs families brace for deep cuts 

OKLAHOMA CITY - What will happen to critical services designed to help those in need? That's the question many families are asking themselves during the budget battle.

Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services say they are preparing for a $69 million cut.

Those cuts will affect many families that depend on places like the Woven Life Adult Day Center in northeast Oklahoma City.

“Hayden is a fun, loving guy. He really likes being part of the group here and doing the activities they do,” said Suzanne Ryals.

Woven Life provides care for adults who are unable to take care of themselves for long periods; adults like Ryals' 22-year-old son, Hayden.

“It gives him the chance to have his own life really, and his own friends,” said Ryals.

However, as Hayden works on his crafts and puzzle, there is one piece that isn't falling into place - and that's the state budget.

Ryals receives financial help from the Department of Human Services. She fears that help will soon vanish without proper funding.

“People need these services,” Ryals said.

Those services from DHS are currently on life-support, including the adult day center program at Woven Life.

The center could lose 75 percent of its adult population and about $250,000.

As for the state, DHS’ adult services would lose $2.1 million to operate and the agency would be forced to eliminate the program by December.

“It goes through my mind that I don't know why this can't be fixed and can't be changed because I'm not the only person. There are a lot of people in this situation,” said Ryals.

The ADvantage Waiver program could also be eliminated without funding from the state. DHS officials sent letters to families that the program could be gone by December if a budget agreement isn’t reached.