Southern Indiana disability service provider on staffing crisis

“Closed early due to staffing.”

Residents might have seen that message or a similar one posted on the door of a shop they frequent or their favorite restaurant sometime within the past few months.

The ongoing labor shortage has hit several fields of business — from health care workers to chain restaurant employees to local retail employees.

The answers that most Bloomington businesses have found? Pay more and reduce hours of operation.

More:Higher wages, reduced hours: How Bloomington businesses are addressing the labor shortage

But that isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Some businesses can’t cut hours or increase wages. For many nonprofits, such as the Bloomington-based LIFEDesigns, the demand for services has completely eclipsed their limited funding and dwindling staff. 

LIFEDesigns is a service and support provider for people living with disabilities. The nonprofit offers a variety of services such as job training, educational programming, permanent supportive housing and community engagement. LIFEDesigns currently serves about 200 clients in eight counties, including Monroe, across southern Indiana. This is a decrease from a non-pandemic year, but even with a smaller pool of clients, there’s still not enough staff to support them. The other counties are Bartholomew, Brown, Greene, Johnson, Lawrence, Morgan and Owen counties.