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President Obama is faced with a budget that is spiraling out of control and we all agree that spending has to be cut. But where and whom do we hurt in the process? The President’s recent State of the Union address specifically targeted the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) as a program for which he would cut funding by 50%. Few people know what CSBG is and how it impacts their community.
The Federal CSBG funding is the “core” for all community action agencies like Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency (MPCAA) which serves Bullitt, Shelby and Spencer counties. The CSBG funding is unique in that its use is flexible and allows for community based programs designed to address the issues of local poverty. CSBG allows for the provision of immediate basic life necessities such as food, utility, homelessness prevention, credit repair counseling, home weatherization, senior meals and activity centers.
If CSBG is drastically cut, more than a thousand Community Action Agencies across the country will be forced to slash programs, or even to shut their doors.
Where will the burden fall to help our low-income families: churches, local government, state government? Or will we just turn our backs on them and go even further down the road towards establishing a society that mirrors many third world countries with rampant poverty and deteriorating living conditions.
You can make a difference by contacting the Obama administration. Write to: The President, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20502. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
J.A. Rusty Newton
Retired Executive Director of the MPCAA