Cliff Talks Hurt Local Nonprofits

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

There is a perfect storm hitting those in need and the organizations that help them, and the prolonged Fiscal Cliff talks are making matters worse.

"Typically any economic news that's bad is a double whammy for us," said Patrick Patterson the Executive Vice President of the Volunteers of America. "There's no person in a greater bind than the homeless person when we're talking 15 degrees at night."

The VOA saw a 24 percent increase in the number of meals it gave out during the final months of 2012. The country's fiscal fiasco could mean a 10 percent budget drop for the Volunteers of America, meaning its bottom line could drop something like $70,000 to $120,000.

That has a big impact on real people.

"If we did not have the Volunteers of America, I do not know where people would go," said Lakeya Jackson a woman who volunteers and receives assistance at the shelter.

Jackson lost her job at McDonalds after working there for 10 years.

"I didn't have no where else to go so i have to check into the VOA," said Jackson. She feels the VOA makes a big difference to those it serves. "I can see that in their face. They smile. They say thank you."

Even further compounding the problem, the US is considering limiting the number of charitable deductions people can claim on their taxes. Meaning not only would the VOA get less money from the government, but donors might cut back as well.

"Any cap to deductions could have an impact on what donors give," said Patterson. "We'd have a hard time keeping all our array of ten programs open this year."

That makes people like Patterson have major concerns. The Volunteers of America is hoping more folks will step forward and give.

If you'd like to help the VOA, visit http://www.voami.org/Give-a-Gift


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