Huge Human Service Cuts Proposed in the Big Apple

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February 18, 2011; Source: New York Nonprofit Press | Fred Scaglione does a great job running New York Nonprofit Press, providing consistent and accurate news coverage of the nonprofit sector in New York City. Some NYNP news that might seem run-of-the-mill to New York City nonprofits is almost unfathomable to nonprofits in other cities.

For example, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's preliminary budget proposal for FY2012 eliminates funding for 6,000 public school teachers, cuts $370 million from human services programs (on top of hundreds of millions of previously announced cuts), eliminates 16,624 child care slots (one-third of the city's total subsidized day care slots for low-income families), potentially closes 110 senior centers serving between 8,000 and 10,000 seniors, and eliminates 110 caseworkers serving frail, homebound seniors.

This is all before the mayor tackles a $600 million budget gap, which could lead to additional cuts. The magnitude is enormous, but NYNP's headline is "Shock . . . but No Awe," giving us a sense that New York City's nonprofits have had to beat back cuts like this before and will mobilize again, led by remarkable advocates such as Nancy Wackstein, Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses.

In this case, however, Governor Cuomo is also talking about deep cuts in the state budget, meaning that New York City might not be able to find much help from Albany, resulting in pain felt by nonprofits and their constituents in the five boroughs.—Rick Cohenr