By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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With a 6-0 vote Tuesday, City Council members authorized the United Way of Clallam County to distribute $30,000 in city funds to 13 nonprofits that provide a variety of health and human services in the city.
Deputy Mayor Brad Collins recused himself from discussions on the funding and the vote because he works for Serenity House of Clallam County, which will receive $2,400 from the city through United Way this year, down 46.7 percent from a $4,500 allocation in 2012.
All the nonprofits will receive from the city about 46.7 percent less than last year. The city funded these nonprofits to the tune of $56,250 in 2012.
City Manager Dan McKeen initially proposed deleting all health and human services funding from the city’s 2013 budget to counteract declining revenues but proposed to restore the $30,000 after council members worked to develop replacement funds from other city sources.
United Way serves as the shepherd for these funds, United Way Executive Director Jody Moss said, and also helps decide which nonprofits get how much money.
Despite the decline from last year, Moss said she was thankful for the decision to retain a portion of the funding and also conveyed the thanks of recipients of the money at Tuesday’s council meeting.
“I appreciate that you are continuing this funding one more year and hope that you can continue it into the future,” Moss said.
Becca Korby, executive director of Healthy Families of Clallam County, also thanked council members, saying she felt the city’s continuing support was a far bigger deal for these nonprofits than some council members might realize.
“Thank you, on behalf of all my brothers and sisters in health and human services,” Korby said.
Healthy Families will get $4,533 from the city, down 46.7 percent from last year’s contribution of $8,500, for the organization’s core services, which include children and youth support groups, children’s advocacy services and emergency shelter.
Moss said Thursday that she and United Way volunteers worked with council members to determine how the reduced funds would be allocated and decided an even cut of about 46 percent across the board would be the best way to handle the decrease.
In her discussions with the individual nonprofits, Moss said she had not heard that any of the organizations would have to completely remove specific programs due to the loss in funding.
The majority of the organizations receiving city funding this year provide their services through volunteers, which Moss said allows them to use these dollars relatively effectively.
The nonprofits that historically received city funding through the United Way of Clallam County range in size from nationwide organizations with Port Angeles branches, such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, to locally grown programs with only one or two staff members or volunteers.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.