South Central Community Action Programs (SCCAP) will lay off at least 12 staff members as part of cuts announced last week.
The Gettysburg-based non-profit organization said it would be shutting down five programs including Money Skills, Utility Assistance in Franklin County, Housing Rehab, Family Development Services and Case Management in Adams County and the Wee Care Learning Center in Gettysburg.
“This was so incredibly hard – these are good vital programs with exceptional and caring staff,” said Megan Shreve, SCCAP Executive Director. “We are desperately hoping that programs like the Homeless Shelters, Food Pantries, Child Care, WIC, Weatherization, and Employment Services receive better support in the upcoming Federal budget negotiations. I hate to think about what will happen in the community if more vital services close.”
Shreve said the decision was made after SCCAP’s executive committee met with administration on July 14 for a final analysis on the impacts of recent state and federal budget cuts.
“SCCAP began the process of doing a detailed fiscal and impact analysis of all of its
programs in December of 2010 when rumblings of large funding cuts began to surface,” Shreve said. “Staff has been diligently updating information as it became available and has worked with the Board to implement strategies to reduce costs wherever possible. SCCAP runs lean programs with a very low administrative overhead of only 6.5 percent of total revenue.”
When state budget cuts were released recently, she added, it became clear to SCCAP that some programs had to close.
“We had begun the planning in December,” said William Hanne, SCCAP’s Board President. “We created contingency plans that we hoped we would never have to use but we wanted to make sure that we were as strategic in the process as we could be. We don’t take this lightly. These are all important programs meeting important needs in our community.”
SCCAP suffered the first barrage of cuts in April when the federal budget was passed and the Community Services Block Grant was cut by 10 percent along with some smaller cuts to other. The organization laid-off 12 staff members between February and May to deal with funding cuts.
Money Skills, Utility Assistance and Family Development Services and Case Management programs will be closing July 31.
According to Shreve, Money Skills assisted more than 90 families to change the way they think about money, the way they value things, learn to budget, and learn about banking.
SCCAP’s Franklin County Emergency Services program contracted with utility companies to assist families with their utility costs. Last year this program assisted 102 families.
Last year, Family Development Services assisted 453 families with case management, employment assistance and assistance obtaining their GEDs.
SCCAP provided housing rehab services for low-income individuals to do renovations to maintain homes or create handicap accessibility. The last grant for those services, Shreve said, came from the State one year ago and though SCCAP applied for additional funding, it has been on hold for more than a year. The program will continue to operate at substantially reduced hours until Dec 31 so that SCCAP can work with counties to complete their rehabilitation projects.
Wee Care opened its doors in 1974 as a sliding scale day care program to help low income working parents. As a result of the state budget impasse of 2009, Shreve said, and the downturn in the economy, however, Wee Care has seen a 34 percent decline in enrollment. The child care center, which serves 70 children, will be closing effective Aug. 26 to correspond with the start of school at the Gettysburg School District Openings for child care do exist at other Gettysburg centers such as the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County’s centers on Fairfield Road and the Adams Commerce Park and St James Child Care.
To assist continuing SCCAP programs, donations can be sent to SCCAP 153 N. Stratton St., Gettysburg, PA 17325.