NCLR Affiliates Feeling Pain of Government Shutdown

MarysCenter_LogoFor those who doubt the human toll of sequestration and now, the government shutdown, yesterday the Washington Post spelled it out in unmistakable terms.  An article about the impact of the shutdown yesterday featured two outstanding NCLR Affiliates, Mary’s Center and the Latin American Youth Center, whose ability to serve children and families in the nation’s capital is in jeopardy until Congress breaks its stalemate over the federal budget.

From The Washington Post:

The Latin American Youth Center announced this week that it has furloughed more than half of its staff and reduced its programming to essential services. The furloughed staff, which includes senior leaders, will continue to work as volunteers until the shutdown ends and funding resumes.

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“I’m so depressed. It’s so sad,” said Lori Kaplan, president of the youth center. “The center means so much to so many people, and this is hard on a lot of people.”

The Columbia Heights nonprofit group, which offers youth development services to 5,000 children each year, will stop some programs that promote job training and education. The group is also in the process of piloting a program that offers mentors available round-the-clock for troubled youth. Kaplan said the mentors will now work part time. Services to homeless and foster-care youth will remain in operation.

Mary’s Center, a federally funded health facility, is struggling to make its October payroll and to continue serving more than 30,000 patients, according to a statement.

The D.C.-based charity was scheduled to receive nearly $600,000 from the District Health Department on Oct. 1. Those funds are on hold until the shutdown ends.

On Wednesday, Maria Gomez, chief executive of Mary’s Center, spoke at a news conference held by Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) at the Capitol to highlight the local effects of the federal shutdown. The Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington and a host of charities are lobbying on Capitol Hill this week, urging Congress to come to a budget solution.

Join our Action Network and stay updated on what you can do to fight for a more fair and equitable federal budget! Visit www.nclr.org/federalbudget.

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