Declaring the need to preserve “vitally needed services,” City Council President Herb Wesson led the City Council action intervening to address the eminent loss of federal funding for a wide array of local community programs. (courtesy photo)
Declaring the need to preserve “vitally needed services,” City Council President Herb Wesson led the City Council action intervening to address the eminent loss of federal funding for a wide array of local community programs.
The crisis in funding occurred when the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development recently determined that the spending of Community Development Block Grant funds exceeded the limit that could be used on public services. This created a funding gap of approximately three months for most organizations.
Among the community organizations that would have been impacted were Community Build, Inc., whose focus is on youth and community development, and the Jenesse Center, Domestic Violence Intervention Program. Other services at risk included AIDS/HIV prevention programs, Family Source Centers, Clean & Green graffiti removal, and the Gang Reduction and Youth Development Program.
Working with Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who chairs the City Council’s Housing Committee, Wesson and the City Council voted to implement a plan to use $1.9 million from the city’s reserve fund to bridge the gap in funding. This action will keep the programs operational for an additional three months.
“These funds provide assistance to those who are the most vulnerable in our community, and there was no way that we could stand by while these needed services lost funding,” said Wesson. “We will be working with the federal government to find a way to avoid this problem in the future.”