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Nonprofits Struggle as Funding Wanes

Sister Berta Sailer or Operation Breakthrough.
Photo courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2.
Sister Berta Sailer or Operation Breakthrough.

By Steve Bell


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Spending cuts at the federal level mean the 16 nonprofit contracted agencies that provide social services for Kansas City, Missouri will be getting less money again this year. And a respected voice for the needy says things are reaching a desperation level.

The $1,355,000 in HUD funding the nonprofits will get is down 10 percent from last year. And Sister Berta Sailer of Operation Breakthrough says the programs have already been hit with $199,000 in funding cuts --180,000 of it provided housing for homeless families living in shelters.

She says the problems are rooted in the values that disparage the poor, and that those values are firmly entrenched in Washington and Jefferson City.

"They don't even like our families, many of them,"she told a city council committee last week." Someone told me not to bring any more unwed mothers to Jefferson City - to bring army wives and widows. And that's somebody making rules for our families."

Sailer says so far the agencies have managed to make up the losses in private donations, But she's not sure how long they can continue to do that.

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