With the ongoing debate over the federal budget, local organizations funded with federal dollars are getting nervous that the potential government shutdown – the first in 17 years – will affect agencies at a local level. Fortunately, at Community Services of Starke County, Executive Director Joan Haugh said she doesn’t expect the shutdown, if it does occur, to affect her funding much.
Because Community Services of Starke County is a nonprofit corporation, it is not funded directly by federal funds. Rather, the funds are funneled through various agencies, and Haugh said she hasn’t heard from these agencies regarding an interruption in funding.
“Because we are a not-for-profit corporation, therefore not funded by federal government directly, we’re not exactly what you’d call ‘government services,’ so I don’t think that the potential government stoppage will prevent us from continuing to provide the services,” said Haugh. “We may have a delay in requesting money to meet the claims that we have, but I do know that if we were to be affected, our funding sources would have let us know by now.”
While close to 50 percent of the agency’s funding is provided indirectly with funds of federal origin, Haugh anticipates the funding to continue uninterrupted. Another 10-15 percent is provided by the state, and the remainder of the agency’s funding comes from local assistance or donations.
Haugh explained the only funds that come directly from the government is money used for an emergency food and shelter program, but she said that program has been on hiatus for some time now.
Besides that, she said the organization is now looking to get started on their energy assistance program and recently mailed out more than 600 applications to at-risk households – that is, households with elderly or disabled residents or those that have children 5 years old or younger. The recipients are expected to fill out the applications and provide necessary documentation, and Haugh said that information will be processed within the next month or so to get the program up and running.