Funding Changes Announced

The United Way of Cleveland announced yesterday that they were funding 70 fewer programs in the community.  The United Way website does not make it easy to compare funding from 2013 with the funding for 2014.  But we know that programs such as the Cleveland Tenants Organization and Hitchcock Center for Women were not included in the list of funded groups released yesterday.  It is impossible to compare the amounts from 2013 given to groups compared to those announced yesterday because United Way seems to have scrubbed their website and Google cashed version of the site of the 2013 funding levels.   It does seem that most of the homeless programs were funded including Care Alliance, Cleveland Mediation, Frontline Service, Legal Aid Society, Lutheran Metro Ministry, University Settlement, West Side Catholic, Transitional Housing Inc., Salvation Army and the YWCA.  It is hard to tell if the Catholic Charities programs such as the Bishop Cosgrove Center and Jewish Community Federation Program such as Bellefaire are funded at the same level.  There were a few new programs announced as receiving funding this year by the United Way that serve homeless people including Enterprise Foundation and the Cleveland Housing Network. 

They had divided their funding into Education, Income and Health with most of the homeless providers funded under "Income" which seems kind of a stretch.  Here is how the Plain Dealer described it:

A committee of 120 people--called community impact volunteers--vetted proposals and made funding recommendations. They were guided by strategies the United Way began honing in 2008. Its Collective Impact Approach calls for focusing on the most urgent needs in areas of income, health and education, even if that means parting company with old friends.

Robin Cottingham, a senior vice president at KeyBank who lead the community impact volunteers, said she challenged her volunteers to think about "sustainable impact" and to favor programs that would help prevent poverty, not just fight it.

I don't understand how Cleveland Tenants Organization preventing evictions and people going into shelters is not an essential vital service in the community that prevent poverty, but I was not on the committee.   I don't understand how treatment services are not considered a prevention program for those falling into poverty and homelessness, but that is the decision.  We will have to wait to see the fallout from the United Way change in direction. 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development also announced the table scraps available to the homeless programs after a second year of Sequestration.  They had previously announced the renewal funding and Cleveland had all the programs that were high priority funded.   This funding was for the programs that had to all compete with eachother for the money left over from HUD.  So, the Cleveland programs that were not funded as a top priority had to compete with Los Angeles, New York and Columbus for the money left.  We had seven programs that were either new or were not viewed by the local community as a high priority.   Only three out of the seven programs were funded.  The three funded programs were:

  • Another Permanent Supportive Housing Project for $62,699
  • West Side Catholic Collaboration with other women's program to provide transition services into housing for $367,135. 
  • West Side Catholic has a new project to provide rapid rehousing to women and families.  This is to replace the pregnant women program that did not seek renewal funding.

We had already lost the Bridging the Gap program and Continue Life shelter which did not seek renewal funding.   The programs that are currently operational that did not get funded by HUD include:

  • Frontline Services assistance to the Norma Herr Center at $39,032
  • LMM Housing Services to those at 2100 Lakeside at $50,157
  • Lakewood Community Services housing referral help at $41,398
  • Frontline Services Safe Haven for fragile populations at $229,897

We know that we already lost an outreach worker at Frontline Services due to funding cuts earlier this year and the men's shelter had to reduce staff who were focused on finding jobs for the residents.  We  will see how these additional cuts impact the shelters. 

Brian Davis

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