Nonprofits forced to make do with fewer federal funds

Already strapped for cash, many local social service providers will have to make do with even less after the City Council on Tuesday adopted next year’s allocations for federal block grants.

Twenty-six local and city-sponsored programs had requested roughly $1.1 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funding for a range of services for the city’s youth, seniors and poorest residents.

But on Tuesday, the City Council could dole out only $446,000 in available federal funds — less than half of what was requested and a nearly 20% reduction compared with what was available last year.

“Let’s hope it’s better next year,” said Councilman Ara Najarian.

The federal funding reductions come as most local nonprofits are struggling to reconcile growing demand for services with dwindling revenues, officials said.

“It certainly is an impact to agencies, which have already seen cutbacks in public and private funds,” said Moises Carrillo, senior community development supervisor with the Community Services & Parks Department.

The social service funding allocations came as part of a larger spending plan adopted by the City Council for roughly $5.5 million in federal funding for economic and workforce development, social and homeless services and affordable housing — a significant drop from last year’s $6.2 million.

City officials had not anticipated the steep funding cuts, which were announced last month as federal lawmakers worked to shrink the massive federal deficit.

In turn, the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee was forced to pare down its original funding recommendations — meaning most service agencies will receive the same amount or less than they received last year.

The largest funding cuts will be absorbed by the Glendale Police Department’s Police Activities League and Students Training as Role Models programs for low-income youth, which will see a combined funding loss of roughly $20,000.

And several newcomers to the block grant process — including drug abuse counseling for low-income youth and free after-school art and chess classes — were left with no funds at all.

WCouncilman Frank Quintero said he hoped the police programs, which pair at-risk youth with mentors and recreational and sports activities, would still be able to continue.

“Without question, it’s been one of the most successful programs,” he said. “I want to make sure we keep nurturing.”

The City Council also voted to allocate $2.3 million in block grant funding for capital improvements, with the majority going to city parks projects and code enforcement, and the rest split among four local nonprofit projects.

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