El Futuro denied Orange County funding | Orange County | Indy Week
Pin It

El Futuro denied Orange County funding 

click to enlarge followup.jpg

For the third time in three years, the bilingual mental health center El Futuro will receive no funding from Orange County. The nonprofit, which is based in Carrboro with an office in Chatham County, focuses its care on low-income Latinos, many of whom have never received treatment for serious mental illnesses.

Lucas Smith, El Futuro's director and co-founder, said the setback in funding—the organization had requested $60,000—will force him to cut staff positions and serve fewer patients. The center, which won a 2007 Indy Citizen Award for its work, relies on grants to help treat patients who are more than 200 percent below the poverty line.

"We offer care to keep people out of emergency rooms and out of the police stations and out of domestic violence," Smith says. "We treat problems before they get big. We have less capability to do that [now]."

"I don't think it's the fact that we don't have a good product, or we're not meeting a need," he continues. "It's just how they do business, and they haven't changed their ways yet."

The Orange County Board of Commissioners, struggling to make up a budget shortfall, decided last week to freeze funding at 2007-08 levels for human services agencies that received money from the county in previous years. Against the recommendations of their advisory commission, commissioners denied all funding to groups that didn't already receive county money.

"Even though it's a freeze, they should reapportion the funds based on the recommendations of that committee—maybe not to that extent, maybe a percentage of that," Smith says.

Emily Adams, chair of the county's Human Services Advisory Commission, said she was disappointed the board didn't consider any of her board's recommendations, which would have provided $313,000 more for groups like El Futuro this year. The commission recommended funding six agencies that did not receive county money in 2007-08, and reducing grants to several groups that did.

Facing a "tough year," county Manager Laura Blackmon said the commissioners committed to maintaining the 2007-08 budget. Of Smith's call to apply the advisory commission's recommendations proportionally, Blackmon said, "The simplest thing for them was, across the board, to leave everybody at the same level. [The county] is not adding things for next year. El Futuro would've been a new thing, for lack of a better term."

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Orange County



Twitter Activity

Comments

Thankfully our community is also home to the very talented and funny women of the Eyes Up Here comedy troupe. …

by Kristin Lione on The Misogyny Behind the Unraveling of DSI Comedy (Orange County)

Chris, this sort of disingenuousness is tiresome. Of course they are not the same. However, symbols and language work tightly …

by raro on Orange County Schools May Finally Ban the Confederate Flag from School Property (Orange County)

Most Recent Comments

Thankfully our community is also home to the very talented and funny women of the Eyes Up Here comedy troupe. …

by Kristin Lione on The Misogyny Behind the Unraveling of DSI Comedy (Orange County)

Chris, this sort of disingenuousness is tiresome. Of course they are not the same. However, symbols and language work tightly …

by raro on Orange County Schools May Finally Ban the Confederate Flag from School Property (Orange County)

I have no idea why progressives equate symbols or language with violence...
They are not the same. …

by Chris Weaver on Orange County Schools May Finally Ban the Confederate Flag from School Property (Orange County)

I am reading the above comments and am floored. I am a parent of a Freshman at CHHS currently and …

by ActNow on Teachers give a failing grade to working conditions (Orange County)

Orange County Board of Adjustment - 3
Party Barn (aka Barn of Chapel Hill) - 0
I guess I should …

by Ron Royster on Orange County Board of Adjustment: No Parties at the Party Barn (Orange County)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation