Nonprofit Newswire | October 16, 2009

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Scandal Leaves Lack of Service in Its Wake
Oct 12, 2009; City Limits Weekly | There have been several articles about how the attacks on ACORN have weakened the ability of local ACORNs to deliver important services. In New York State, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal just cut off ACORN’s access to the remaining $243,000 of a $365,000 DHCR grant for foreclosure counseling services. This cut-off may hurt ACORN, but what public agency decision-makers don’t really get is that it hurts the homeowners who have been going to ACORN for foreclosure assistance. Nonprofits are really intermediaries between resources and people in need. Cutting ACORN in this case simply means that more people will lose their homes due to foreclosure.—Rick Cohen

Conflict soaring over budget
Oct 13, 2009; Free Press | Michigan’s state government is getting closer and closer to a Pennsylvania-type budget impasse. Governor Granholm seems to be unable to get the Republican State Senate Majority Leader to send her six budget bills that the state House and Senate have already passed. She has signed three other bills, including one that cut resources for K-12 education, but that State Senator (Mike Bishop) is playing hard to get. One of the budget bills he’s deep-freezing is pays for human services. Threats and counterthreats of government shutdowns don’t hide the fact that budget impasses like this simply undermine nonprofits’ ability to deliver crucial safety net programs and services.—Rick Cohen

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell lost 50 pounds during budget impasse
Oct 12, 2009; Patriot News | The Pennsylvania budget snafu gave Governor Rendell an opportunity to lose weight. Congratulations, Governor. But we suspect that struggling nonprofit EDs got to lose weight without having to go on diets as they watched their groups absorb more and more costs without assurance of government contracts and reimbursement.—Rick Cohen

Pa.: 6 stole 375G from food program for low-income moms, kids
Oct 14, 2009; Philadelphia Daily News | Talk about taking candy from a baby. Six staff members of NORTH, Inc., a Philadelphia nonprofit that distributes WIC checks to low-income residents, were arrested for theft, conspiracy and related offenses. The scheme, which took place from 2001 to 2007 and involved cashing and redeeming fake checks, was uncovered not by auditors but a local store clerk.—Timothy Lyster

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