News / USA

With Sequester, Social Services Brace for Cuts

Commuters pass by a homeless person in Grand Central Terminal in New York, January 25, 2013. Sequestration could force deep cuts to social programs, including homeless services.
Commuters pass by a homeless person in Grand Central Terminal in New York, January 25, 2013. Sequestration could force deep cuts to social programs, including homeless services.
TEXT SIZE - +
Adam Phillips
— No one in New York City knows exactly how much local social services will be cut back due to the federal budget sequester which went into effect March 1. 

However, as the federal cuts take effect over the coming months, budgets for many state, city and private social service agencies that help vulnerable populations will be impacted.      

The sequester was designed by Congress to cut spending across nearly every area of the federal budget. 

When it began to take effect last Friday, it sent state and city governments, which depend in part on federal funding, and private sector social service agencies that receive federal grants, scrambling for ways to make up a projected shortfall.

“It ain’t going to be good. That we know for sure,” says David Rivel of the Jewish Board of Family and Children Services, which serves 30,000 New Yorkers every year with addiction counseling, homeless services, transportation for the developmentally disabled, mental health care and violence prevention education.

Rivel says many clients need help in more than one of these areas, and a stressor in one aspect of life may increase the need for help in another.

“There are many people who are leading lives on the edge and if you push in any one place in the system, you are going to have impacts in other places," he says. "So a modest impact in terms of a reduced housing allowance could throw a family into crisis; it could mean they are homeless; it could mean they have a greater demand for mental services. It could mean that instances of domestic violence which were under control, now come out again because people are stressed out from pressures in their life.”

United Neighborhood Houses of New York protesting budget cuts that affect disadvantaged children and Head Start school programs. The same services could also be hurt by the sequester. (United Neighborhood Houses of New York )United Neighborhood Houses of New York protesting budget cuts that affect disadvantaged children and Head Start school programs. The same services could also be hurt by the sequester. (United Neighborhood Houses of New York )
x
United Neighborhood Houses of New York protesting budget cuts that affect disadvantaged children and Head Start school programs. The same services could also be hurt by the sequester. (United Neighborhood Houses of New York )
United Neighborhood Houses of New York protesting budget cuts that affect disadvantaged children and Head Start school programs. The same services could also be hurt by the sequester. (United Neighborhood Houses of New York )
Sequestration could also threaten funding for Head Start, a popular federal program which provides education programs for young children, ages three to five, living at or below the poverty line.

Cutbacks would be especially catastrophic for New York City children, according to Nancy Wackstein of United Neighborhood Houses of New York, an umbrella association for 38 community centers and social service agencies, especially since state and city education budgets have already been slashed drastically in recent years.

“I think everybody in the United States has a stake in whether our children do well in school," Wackstein says, "whether they are going to graduate from high school, whether they are going to be able to succeed in the global marketplace. And so what you are doing is cutting yourself off at the knees here.”

Wackstein also fears for New Yorkers who are depending on federal funds to recover from Hurricane Sandy, which flooded the low-lying coastal areas of the city last October where many low income families live.

“There is still recovery going on in many communities," she says. "People living in public housing were really hard hit here. There are a lot of people who were struggling before Sandy, Sandy made it worse and now, if programs and services get cut back even more, it will be even worse for them. So this couldn’t come at a worse time.”

Other federally funded programs which could be affected in New York include $1.5 million dollars in meal money for the elderly, $5.7 million for the prevention and treatment of substance addiction, and $12.9 million dollars to promote good water and air quality.

There are also an estimated 12,000 defense department workers in the New York area who may lose part of their income due to furloughs.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ian from: USA
March 07, 2013 12:58 PM
How about stop the pay checks and health insurance benefits to congress first ?
If they think americans can handle hardship , they should taste the "let them eat cake" that they handing out to the average american first


by: Alex K from: Pennsylvania
March 06, 2013 9:56 AM
It's okay. The poor apparently don't mind giving up the programs they need most: http://newsmakeup.com/americas-poor-thrilled-to-bear-brunt-of-sequestration-pain/

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid