The city has scrambled to figure out how to keep a host of programs running after the
To make sure that federal money for community redevelopment and renovation doesn't end up paying mainly for public services that cities would ordinarily cover on their own, federal rules cap the percentage of grant money that can be used for those kinds of services.
Since many Los Angeles programs were deemed to be "public services" that fell under the cap, the HUD warning meant the city had more programs competing for a smaller chunk of the federal money. City officials decided to pay for some of the programs using city money, relieving some of the competition.
But that posed another problem for the community programs, since city funding doesn't start flowing until July -- three months after the federal grants ran out.
Last month, some nonprofits panicked after learning that a key stream of their funding was due to halt in weeks. Groups battling HIV/AIDS, for instance, had feared that such an interruption would put thousands of people at risk and jeopardize dozens of jobs.
To prevent that from happening, Council President
The programs that will be sustained with that $1.9 million include efforts for community beautification, youth employment, keeping parks and recreation centers open longer throughout the summer to prevent gang violence, and facilitating the hiring of day laborers, according to the motion.
"If we didn't get this funding, we would have to close our day laborer center ... it was going to be a matter of days," said Martha Arevalos, executive director of CARECEN, the Central American Resource Center. Such centers "are like a second home for day laborers. They're helping people who want to work to get those jobs -- and to make the process as smooth as possible."
That stopgap funding is roughly 10% lower than what the programs were previously getting, according to Edward Johnson, Wesson's assistant chief deputy. Other programs, including those that help prevent HIV/AIDS, will continue to get some federal money.
Halting the community programs "would have had a ruinous impact on Angelenos most in need," Councilman
Though the feared three-month gap has been plugged, the programs could still face reductions in the coming year. Mayor