Services hard hit by president’s budget

By Laura Hoffmeister on June 19, 2017

Hoffmeister head shot for websiteLast month I wrote about the president’s proposed budget and its elimination of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and the devastating impact it would have on Meals on Wheels Senior Outreach Services (MOWSOS) and the CC Café senior lunch program at our Concord Senior Center. The proposed budget is before congress and now is the time to tell members that these funds are vital to many service programs in our communities. The CDBG grants are provided through our cities, including Concord, and the county. Concord receives about $1 million dollars annually and these funds are restricted for the use by community service support programs.

Elimination by the federal government to CDBG funding would have a devastating effect on your neighbors, friends, relatives, and our seniors. Other programs and services that would be cut or eliminated are:

Housing Rehabilitation Loans that allow seniors, to make modification to their home to address emergencies, weatherization, security, handicap accessibility, all which allow them to remain in their homes; Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa which ensures that our seniors living in long term care are being properly cared for by investigating and resolving complaints; CARES after school programs at five elementary schools and two middle schools, and programs that support local affordable child care; The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano food distribution programs including Food for Children and Brown Bag for Seniors, which are offered local churches, and community centers; Monument Crisis Center, which provides wrap-around safety net services, food distribution, shelter and health care referrals, financial assistance and basic employment workshops, community service programs, and on site legal and crisis support services.

Also tagged for cuts or eliminatio: STAND! For Families Free of Violence and its emergency shelter and services that provide comprehensive prevention, intervention, and treatment services to end domestic violence and child abuse;  Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)-Children at Risk which provides trained volunteers who advocate for the needs of abused and neglected children who are wards of the county’s juvenile dependency court; Shelter Inc. of Contra Costa County and its Homeless Prevention/Rapid Re-housing Program which helps individuals and families in Concord facing a financial crisis prevent homelessness and maintain their housing.

Other programs adversely impacted include Bay Area Legal Aid which provides landlord/tenant counseling and/or legal services; Contra Costa Crisis Center 211 referral line that helps children, teens, adults and seniors and the disabled to connect with services; Small Business Development Center (SBDC) microenterprises training program; Concord’s program for installing curb ramps and fixing or installing sidewalks that provide access for the mobility impaired.

It would also eliminate federal grants that cities can receive for transportation infrastructure improvements and economic development, and the Home Investment Partnership Program which leverages nonprofit and private funds for creating affordable housing. Disaster preparedness grants would also be reduced at a time when natural disasters and terrorism and community safety should be of utmost importance.

Please act now by calling or writing congress today not to eliminate these critical community funds.

Email questions and comments to the Mayor at Laura.Hoffmeister@cityofconcord.org

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