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.
    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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora