Thursday, July 17, 2003

Warren sees more aid-to-poor requests

By Jeremy W. Steele
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LEBANON - Warren County officials were encouraged by the record number of organizations that submitted proposals this year to help the disadvantaged.

But with more than $600,000 in state and federal cuts to county social services, only one-third of the proposals will receive any county funding.

The requests - from 27 programs and agencies - came after the Warren County United Way raised concerns that the county was failing to spend all the money it receives for federal programs for the poor.

Many of the organizations that applied for the first time for funding this year are affiliated with United Way.

"We welcome them," Human Services Director Doris Bishop said of the applicants. "I just wish we had the money to serve them, but we just don't have it."

United Way board members say the county didn't use $932,086 in 2001 and $722,861 in 2002 of federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds. In addition, they accused the county of failing to apply for $2 million in Prevention, Retention and Contingency Development funding.

But the county's core allocation for employment training, child care, adult literacy, Medicaid and other programs was reduced by about 6 percent to $3.15 million for the fiscal year, which began July 1. Coupled with another $403,910 in state and federal cuts for special needs programs, the county has had to shift funding to make up for more than $600,000 in reductions.

County commissioners approved $1,009,271 Tuesday for nine programs, including $34,000 for a South Lebanon summer youth program, $234,500 for a school social worker program and $60,000 for abuse and rape services. The county is restricted on how it can spend the rest of its federal social services funding.


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