BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — There's been a staffing crisis for caregivers for people who live with disabilities for years now. It's a problem the pandemic only made worse and now families are going months without services.
“She gets up in the morning and she points to her sneaker pack and is like 'let’s go,' I’m like, there’s no where to go today, hon," said Kelly Bock, whose 21-year-old daughter Hannah is living with autism
Normally, she’d take Hannah to school or a day program.
"She has a spot in a dayhab right now, because of staffing, she can’t go yet," said Bock.
The Bocks are hoping for a spot in one of Sasi’s facilities, but they’ve been seeing hiring crisis for the past few years.
"Now, unbelievably, it’s even worse, the last time I spoke to you, we were looking at 200 open positions here, but now we’re between 200 and 250," said Matthew Krueger who works in communications at Sasi.
They had to shut down one of their houses and their dayhab program is running at only 58% capacity.
Now hundreds of families that are affected, including the Bocks.
"It’s very challenging I mean, I get emotional about it because I feel bad for her, you can’t be the family you want to be and give her what she needs and it’s hard, it’s really hard," said Bock.
Bock works at Bornhava in Amherst, a center for children living with disabilities—she says they’re feeling it too.
"If people call in sick, it’s a scramble to cover that. It’s like what else can I do? I can’t wrangle people off the streets to go and work, these jobs are challenging," said Bock.
To get people applying over at Sasi, they raised their starting pay from $13 to $15/hr. Krueger hopes that along with the rewarding experience can draw people in.
"It’s a lot of fun working this job, you get to take them on trips to the buffalo zoo, it’s doing craft work with them and teaching them and having fun with it," said Krueger.
Sasi is holding open interviews September 30 and October 7 and next week at three of their locations.
In Derby from 11am -6pm, in Elma and Sardinia from 9:30pm-2:30pm. Experience is not necessary, all you need is to be 18 with a high school diploma or GED.
To apply, click here.