Sterling independent living agency is weeks away from closing

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STERLING, Illinois - An independent living agency in Sterling says it will have to close by then end of the month, it if doesn't receive state funding.

The agency that helps people with disabilities live on their own has been running on reserves, but that money will soon be gone.

Back in July 2015, the Northwestern Illinois Center for Independent Living or known as NICIL held a press conference telling their clients they were closing its doors temporarily to save money.

The agency opened back up in the fall, running on reserve money only.

"That basically takes us through about the beginning the first couple days of June and then we`re out of money," said NICIL's executive director, Michele Miller.

Now NICIL's doors could be closed for good.

Mark Cripe volunteers at NICIL and takes advantages of the programs they offer.

"I like the fact that I can make my own decisions, go where I want to go," said Cripe.

NICIL has helped Cripe and other people with disabilities live on their own, but with no state budget and the cash running low, the services Cripe depends on could be gone.

"I think it`s terribly that the people we elected to do a job, which is establish a budget that would be fair for everybody, has taken this long," said Cripe.

Miller says it's a hard pill to swallow, "It's disrespectful to our consumers, saying that you`re not worth our efforts to make a balanced budget, that`s what it says."

Right now there's a bill on the governor's desk, if signed would grant emergency funding to social services like NICIL.

It would keep them open until the end of the fiscal year.