Nonprofit Newswire | Last Year’s Fumble Cost Youth Workers Pay

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August 11, 2010; Source: Courier Journal | Call this a case of the sins of the parents being visited on the children. Because a nonprofit should have done a better job tending to its books last year, the city of Louisville is withholding some $27,000 in pay this year to low income youth, ranging in age from 12 to 20, who were to be paid $60 a week for cleaning vacant lots, alleys, and parks.

According to the Courier Journal, the nonprofit that ran the program last year is being audited because it could not document how it spent $55,000 in grant funds the city awarded the group in 2009. As a result, another nonprofit volunteered to keep the program running this year while auditors sifted through LIFE Institute’s books. However, because it did not expect to be paid for its services, Project One didn’t sign a contract and the city can’t award it the grant funds to pay for the youth workers.

The city’s interim director of Housing and Family Services, Tina Heavrin, said, “We’ll need a contract and documentation to show they’ve complied with the work plan and the budget.” The primary backer of the jobs program, Councilwoman Judy Green said everyone involved is working hard to “get this resolved,” and she’s hopeful the workers will be paid soon. President and CEO Charles King said his group has “received a lot of calls, which you would expect when people have worked and haven’t been paid. This is really a community tragedy for these kids not to be paid. They’re getting ready to go back to school, and they need supplies and clothes.”—Bruce Trachtenberg