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Social-services agency cutting five programs in Pa.

July 18, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — A social-services agency with 22 programs in Franklin and Adams counties is cutting five of those programs because of decreased state and federal funding, an agency official said Monday.

In Franklin County, the money skills, housing rehabilitation and utility assistance programs will be ending, according to South Central Community Action Programs Inc. Executive Director Megan Shreve.

Neighboring Adams County will lose its family development services and its Wee Care Learning Center, Shreve said.

“We’ve laid off 12 staff already. It may be closer to 15,” she said.

Shreve said funding decreased in recent state budgets and the 2010-11 federal budget. She said additional federal cuts are looming.

“We have a waiting list for every program. ... There are not enough funds to serve our current clients,” Shreve said, saying SCCAP programs served 27,800 people last year, compared to 16,000 annually about five years ago.

Providers across Pennsylvania have been doing more with less, but they’re at their breaking points, Shreve said. They’re also challenged because recent information about cuts has been incorrect, she said.

“It makes it even harder to know what to do with numbers because nothing has been accurate at this point,” Shreve said.

These programs are being cut in Franklin County:

  • Money skills class, which challenged more than 90 families in two counties to change the way they think about money and budgeting, according to a news release. That program will end July 31.
  • The utility assistance program, which was treated as an emergency service in Franklin County. It contracted with utility companies and assisted 102 families last year, the news release stated. That program also will end July 31.
  • The housing rehabilitation program, which worked with low-income individuals, particularly senior citizens in Franklin and Adams counties. Addressing needs like leaky roofs and handicapped-accessible showers, the program assisted 68 families last year, the news release stated.

Shreve said $50,000 remains in coffers for housing rehabilitation in Franklin County, although only a small percentage of that money is targeted for administrative costs.

“That program will stay open until December, so we can spend down that money,” she said.

SCCAP’s board of directors tried to keep as many programs helping as many people as possible because of increased need in the down economy, Shreve said.

“It’s hard to know what ... SCCAP will look like in a year,” she said.

SCCAP also operates the Franklin County Shelter for the Homeless and food pantries. These programs were not addressed in SCCAP’s recent announcement.

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