Budget recommends funding for nonprofits

Published 10:35 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2011

During a year in which few people are likely to walk away from the budget table completely satisfied, nonprofits in Suffolk are finding that they might have to make do with far less than they had hoped in city contributions.

Some of the leaders of 26 of those organizations will be on hand at a City Council public hearing tonight to plead their cases once more. Some got far less than they had hoped for in City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn’s proposed budget. Others got nothing.

John Skirven, chief executive officer of Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia, said he was disappointed with the amount recommended for his organization.

Email newsletter signup

“Senior Services greatly appreciates the city of Suffolk’s support in these tough economic times,” Skirven said. “We certainly wish it was a greater amount, and we look forward to increases in the future.”

This year, the city recommended giving $10,000 to Senior Services out of about $22,000 that was requested. The money would have leveraged federal grants for services like elder abuse prevention, home-delivered meals and legal assistance.

“We’re going to have to find the money to serve people elsewhere,” said Skirven, who added he’ll be at tonight’s public hearing.

The organization received nothing last year, because it missed a deadline to submit an application for funding.

“It was late, and they just played by the rules,” Skirven said. “This year, we made sure we got the right date.”

None of the organizations received more than the previous year, except those that received nothing last year. Many organizations, in fact, are receiving less than last year, and most are receiving less than requested.

In addition to the funds from the city, a few organizations — the Southeastern Tidewater Opportunity Project, ForKids, the Genieve Shelter and Western Tidewater Free Clinic — will receive pass-through funding from federal Community Development Block Grants.

Thaler McCormick, chief executive officer of ForKids, said her homeless services organization will be at risk if it loses any more money. Its state funding already has been cut by about 16 percent, she said.

“I am concerned that Suffolk House (the local family shelter operated by ForKids) really can’t lose any more funds and continue to provide services,” she said.

McCormick was told the organization’s block grant funding had been reduced, but that it has been made up by $10,000 from the city’s general fund.

“That would be good news for ForKids, because we really can’t lose any more funds,” McCormick said. “If that is the recommendation, we would be level funded.”

Some organizations, like the Suffolk Humane Society and the Salvation Army, were denied any funding through the budget process.

The public hearing begins at 7 p.m. tonight in City Council chambers, 441 Market St.