CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Federal budget cuts proposed this week would eliminate $6,741,716 that supports Cuyahoga County’s neediest residents. Programs such as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Weatherization Assistance Program – both of which help low-income households, seniors, and the disabled – are now under threat of elimination.
Last year, 12,935 families in Cuyahoga County that struggled to pay their heating and utility bills were able to keep their heat on and their families safe thanks to LIHEAP. And, Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) leveraged $3,466,241 to allow the Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland (CEOGC) to help 11,282 families become stronger through various self-sufficiency programs designed to alleviate poverty in Cuyahoga County.
“Cutting CSBG, flexible local dollars that create opportunity for over 15 million people in every community in America, a program with bipartisan support in Congress, one that has already shifted power from the feds to local communities, harms America,” said David Bradley, chief executive officer of the National Community Action Foundation. “Make no mistake about it, this budget does not put Americans first, it puts Americans last.”
Many of the sources in the proposed budget are federal block grant programs that provide funds to states to help low-income families temporarily pay heating and utility bills in an emergency, conserve housing energy for long-term budget maintenance, or provide support to develop locally controlled programs based on community needs. Eliminating funds to those programs would take much needed services away from 24,217 families in Cuyahoga County.
“The programs now at risk are helping those in our community who are the most vulnerable,” explained Dr. Jacklyn Chisholm, president and CEO of The Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland. “Our low-income neighbors work hard to overcome their unique obstacles to break free from poverty. Taking away the programs that help them to take those important steps towards success will only cause them to fall further from their goals.”
Community Action changes people’s lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community, and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other. Community Action Agencies work to alleviate poverty and empower low-income families in their communities. The Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland [Cuyahoga County] assisted 24,217 families and low-income residents in 2016.