Following dozens of pleas for funding from local social service organizations, the City Council is now considering how to distribute $4.5 million in federal grant money, including $671,000 earmarked for community service groups.
About 60 community service groups have asked the council for grants ranging from $4,000 to $100,000. However, if staff recommendations are implemented, most are expected to receive a fraction of what they requested and about one-third may not receive a grant. Funding requests totaled $1.5 million, far exceeding the $671,000 available.
After a public hearing Monday, the council members voted to postpone their decisions for two weeks. Mayor Daniel H. Young, pointing to a thick packet of funding requests said: "This is always a bit overwhelming, and this year is no different. (Two weeks) will give the council time to evaluate the proposals."
City staff has recommended that $85,000, the largest single grant, go to the city's anti-gang program, Project PRIDE. That amount represents a $25,000 increase over last year's allocation.
Some of the larger proposed grants include: Police Helicopter Services, $75,000; Latchkey Program, $24,000; Senior Center Staffing, $15,000; The Cambodian Family, $10,000; Delhi Community Center, $20,000; Feedback Foundation Inc., $60,000; Orange County Community Consortium, $10,000; Orange County Consolidated Transportation Services, $20,000; Orange County Youth and Family Services/Gang Prevention, $25,000; Pilgrimage Family Center, $20,000; Rancho Santiago College, $10,000; St. Joseph's Ballet Company, $30,000; Santa Ana Neighborhood Housing Services, $20,000; Santa Ana/Tustin Meals on Wheels, $20,000; Senior Meals and Services Inc., $10,000; Share Ourselves Free Medical Clinic, $15,000; Southwest Minority Economic Development Assn., $10,000; YMCA South Orange County, $20,000.