There’s never a good time to do less for people in need. Nor to push forward process over people by making recommendations that would do severe community harm in the name of protecting bureaucratic “process.”
But that is the message the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors CORE funding recommendations left Family Resource Center clients, Elderday participants, and families struggling to find low-cost early education and child care services.
Santa Cruz County provides funding for critical social services that support the most vulnerable members of our community. That is one of the roles local county governments play throughout California. Locally this funding is delivered through the “CORE” (Collective of Results and Evidence-Based Assessments) process, which grants funding to community-based organizations directly serving seniors, families, individuals, and children in Santa Cruz County.
Using a recently developed process to create more opportunities for organizations to receive first-time funding, the County re-allocated 46% of all money to a number of new organizations by defunding ongoing operations by established service providers across the County.
By the County’s logic, they didn’t reduce funding but increased their overall investment. But for those who rely on Mountain Community Resources in Felton for a hot shower a few times each week, losing access to that facility results in a reduction of services for that community. This is true for the over $2.2 million dollars of services that have been lost as a result of this recommendation. Across the board programs and services will be impacted such as the Family Service Agency of the Central Coast and their mental health clients, to Mental Health Client Action Network (MHCAN).
California’s Department of Aging projects the number of seniors living in Santa Cruz County will double between 2010 and 2060.
The single largest sector impacted by these changes is older adults in programs like our Elderday Senior Network. Among other, our ombudsman services for those living in long-term care facilities was defunded, leaving us inadequately prepared as California’s Department of Aging projects the number of seniors living in Santa Cruz County will double between 2010 and 2060. Additionally, demand for services increased across all programs during the pandemic. This means pulling services back from people who have newly come to need them.
Reducing available funding for programs that directly serve these communities will erode the infrastructure that exists to support seniors and keep them healthy and safe. Reducing the number of subsidized child care slots available county-wide at a time when parents are struggling to find child care so they can return to work also seems to harm the community CORE is supposed to help.
This can’t be what the County intended.
Community Bridges funding allocation was reduced by $816,000. In total, services for seniors and other vulnerable communities were realigned by $2.2 million with this allocation.
Community Bridges funding allocation was reduced by $816,000. Please join the appeal today.
Our team at Community Bridges is actively appealing this decision and we are asking our community and anyone who benefited from our services to add their voices to the conversation and request that the Board of Supervisors preserve these essential services.
Please send a letter supporting our appeal and asking the county to preserve Community Bridges funding or create a set-aside to ensure continued access to vital community programs continues.
Join our appeal by calling (831) 454-2200 and leaving a message for your supervisor or by emailing BoardOfSupervisors@santacruzcounty.us.