October 20, 2021

Nonprofits face state funding cuts due to virus

Seven Valleys Health Coalition expects a 26% reduction in a state grant it receives every year, but Executive Director Jackie Leaf said the organization will continue the work it does normally. She hopes.

“At this point, I think we’re OK through the year, anyways,” Leaf said Wednesday. “As long as nothing major happens, we’ll get through the year whole.”

The organization typically receives $180,000 from the state’s Rural Health Network, but in the wake of the coronavirus, expects to get only about $133,000.

Non-profit organizations that provide services across Cortland County have faced cuts in state funding due to the coronavirus, but are still working to maintain the level of work they perform.

Three nonprofits in Cortland — Seven Valleys Health Coalition, Catholic Charities of Cortland County and CAPCO Inc. — haven’t had to lay off workers, but face financial strains.

Marie Walsh, the executive director of Catholic Charities of Cortland County, said that despite funding changes, the organization will continue “operating in spite of that.”

This includes telehealth-related work and operating its food pantry.

Walsh wouldn’t say how much state funding the organization receives yearly, but she said that it is expecting a 20% reduction. She also noted that more than 50% of the organization’s yearly budget —$2.8 million — comes from governmental entities.

This will affect how the organization plans for next year’s budget, as it will look to continue providing the same service but with greater austerity.

“We’re getting into a budget-planning process not knowing what our revenues are going to look like,” she said. Laying people off though “will be the absolute last thing we do.”

The state has been withholding about 20% of contract payments to CAPCO Inc. for services the organization provides, but expects the agency to operate as if it was receiving 100% of the funding, said Executive Director Lindy Glennon.

“Given the landscape we’re looking at, it is making it extremely difficult,” she said.

She hasn’t had to lay off any of her 350 employees yet, she said the longer money is withheld, the greater chance it may have to happen.

The three primary CAPCO programs the state funds:

  • The Weatherization Assistance program
  • The Nutrition Outreach and Education Program, which helps get people access to healthy foods.
  • The Healthy Families Program, which helps provide assistance to parents during pregnancy and early childhood.

Glennon said she isn’t looking for new means of reimbursement, but just that the state upholds its end of the contracts.

“I should not have to make a plan,” she said. “The state is contractually obligated to pay me.”