Non-profits seek grants through budget process
The hearings, held in the aldermanic chambers and attended by Mayor Ted Gatsas and other city officials, are an early step in the budget process for the 2015 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
The funding for the nonprofit groups comes almost exclusively from the federal government, in particular the Community Development Block Grant program.
"We'll be working through the requests," Gatsas said, adding that which programs to fund and by how much will be the subject of discussions with the aldermen.
In the current 2014 budget, approximately $985,000 in funding is being provided to nonprofit groups, which had requested $1.6 million.
For most of the groups, the city funding will make up only a portion of their budgets.
"This year is going to be a real challenge," said Renie Denton, the executive director of the Manchester Community Resource Center, which recently moved into the newly renovated Odd Fellows Hall on Lake Avenue. "With supermarkets going out of business, all those folks are looking for employment and so many manufacturing companies require you to have a G.E.D. and reading and writing proficiency. Unfortunately, so many of our folks just don't have those skills."
"I know a lot of people might think the city is just funding all these low-income people, and it's one dollar after the next," Denton said. "But we're about providing a service that provides accountability, that has outcomes."firstname.lastname@example.org