Head of SCCAP talks with commissioners about agency's programs

Megan Shreve says future of several human services programs in Franklin County, Pa., are in limbo

July 28, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — The future of several human services programs in Franklin County, Pa., are in limbo because of questions about federal funding, according to the executive director of South Central Community Action Programs Inc.

Megan Shreve spoke to the Franklin County Commissioners Thursday about SCCAP's 22 programs, including food pantries, homeless shelters, utility assistance and housing rehabilitation.

Some programs such as money skills are being eliminated because of decreased revenue. Shreve said the fate of others remain unknown while the U.S. Congress tackles debt and budget issues.

SCCAP did fiscal and impact analyses to prepare for state and federal funding reductions.

"We are an anti-poverty initiative, so we try to get people out of poverty. ... We want people to be self-sufficient, rather than rely on unstable subsidies," Shreve said.

The agency served 27,800 individuals in Franklin and Adams counties in 2010.

"When I started six years ago (as executive director), we were serving about 16,000 people a year. That's because of the economy," Shreve said.

Commissioners Chairman David Keller said the county dedicates $14,000 a year from its general fund to SCCAP's Franklin County Shelter for the Homeless and food pantries. It has allocated $46,000 from a separate fund to the housing rehabilitation program, which will be eliminated after December.

Shreve highlighted the Circles Initiatives in which impoverished families are connected with a coach and volunteers to strengthen life skills. She talked about her own experiences helping a family by providing SAT advice or taking the son to soccer so that the mother could work.

The enrolled families experience significant income increases through life changes, Shreve said. Nine Franklin County families graduated from the program a few months ago, she said.

A family that is not necessarily under the poverty level and doesn't qualify for assistance can have self-sufficiency problems, Shreve said. Circles helps them get out of that gap, she said.

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