May 26, 2010; Source: Reporternews.com | There are twenty additional unemployed people in Abilene, Texas—laid off from the local Community Action Program. The agency, which provides utility, rent and other help to poor and elderly people in the area and which last year had over $5 million in contracts from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, had all of its funding from that agency suspended in mid-April and the board voted just to lay staff off, thus suspending services, until they could address compliance issues. Consultants they hired have told the agency they cannot “present a financial picture,” it does not have “an effective organizational structure,” has had “significant turnover in key positions,” and is out of compliance in its weatherization program. All that is left on staff are three administrators until they can answer some questions. We sense the back story here but it is not explicit so we will not speculate. The question now is, can this agency come back? They seem set to but, according to this article, other agencies may already be circling their grants.—Ruth McCambridge
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