Despite opposition from HSC and many of its members, last week City Council cut ~$2M in human services funding to organizations that provide housing and shelter, support to domestic violence victims, and workforce supports. Council members made these cuts as they seek to close a projected $14M budget shortfall for the current year which closes June 30. Unfortunately, as the pandemic evolves, human services organizations are facing their own financial stress, especially those who are responding to an increased need for food or who have invested in technologies and other infrastructure due to social distancing requirements. As these nonprofits struggle to continue their services, many are seeing their donations and fundraising plummet due to the economic consequences of the pandemic.
Over the coming weeks, HSC will be working with its members to identify additional funding sources to ensure that the human services sector can continue to respond to the evolving needs of this crisis. We will also work to identify policy proposals that can assist those we serve, including new funding for emergency rental assistance and legal assistance to respond to a likely surge in eviction cases once the county moratorium on evictions is lifted. Human services organizations provide a unique role on the front lines of this crisis, and we must support them if we are to weather this storm and prepare for the rebuilding process to follow.