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December 7, 2012

'Cliff' a concern for area nonprofits

(Continued)

“I’m hoping they work it out,” she said, adding that she did not want to speculate on the likelihood.

Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care President and CEO Lola Rathbone said her agency faces a reduction in reimbursements because of the fiscal cliff talks.

This is not as dramatic as some of the cuts others are facing.

“Right now we are doing okay,” she said. “We won’t suffer as much as some of the smaller hospices, because we have good community support.”

But she was hoping the agency avoided the impact.

Otsego County Deputy Commissioner of Social Services Eve Bouboulis said her department was particularly interested in possible cuts to HEAP and the Housing and Urban Development’s homeless assistance program. She didn’t want to comment on the state of negotiations.

Delaware Opportunities Executive Director John Eberhard said the current proposals call for about a 9-percent cut in programs including Headstart, which would result in 21 children not being served; weatherization, which would affect five families; and the Home Energy Assistance Program, which would affect 72 families.

“It’s very important they work things out,” he said.

Delaware County Social Services Commissioner William Moon said his agency works with Delaware Opportunities and Office for the Aging in administering many of the programs that will be affected if the cuts take place. However he noted programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Children’s Health Insurance Program are not affected. If there are not enough funds available for the programs, the county and state governments and nonprofits will have to make up the difference, he said.

“There has to be a better way,” to deal with federal budget issues, he said. “I am hoping for the best.”

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