Budget Woes May Prevent Durham County Nonprofits From Getting More Money
Posted May 9, 2002 3:43 a.m. EDT
DURHAM, N.C. — The state budget crisis will be felt a lot by the people on the streets. Thirty-five nonprofit agencies in Durham County have already been told they will not get as much money as they have in the past.
One by one, Meals on Wheels volunteers pick up a cooler filled with food. Every volunteer is assigned a route, and every route has an elderly or disabled person waiting for a warm meal.
"There are a lot of people out there that just wouldn't eat if we didn't come to visit," said Denise Kissel of Durham Meals on Wheels.
Meals on Wheels of Durham faces the same fate that 34 other nonprofit agencies are facing in Durham County. They have the same number of clients if not more, and less money to help people with this year.
"We're not going to be able to fund these nonprofit agencies to the extent that we funded them in the past, mainly because of the state withholding our revenues," county commissioner Becky Heron said.
The situation means people like 94-year-old Mabel Little might not be getting a warm meal every day. Meals on Wheels of Durham asked for $20,000 in funding from the county, but they are likely not going to see that kind of money.
"For the state to balance the budget on the backs of local government is just unconscionable," Heron said.
On June 1, county commissioners will begin discussions on who gets how much money each nonprofit agency will end up with. Durham's Meals on Wheels is hoping to come up with some creative ways of fund raising, so that their clients will not have to do without a meal.