Cincinnati council could rework human services funding

Oct 6, 2014

Cincinnati Council could be asked to make major changes to the way the city provides money for human services programs.  

That includes increasing the city's contribution to these agencies, but also targeting it toward two specific goals:  reducing joblessness and homelessness.  

The changes would begin with the new fiscal year on July 1st.  

The United Way of Greater Cincinnati administers the human services funding program for the city.

“This whole conversation around setting a goal and prioritizing came from the limited funding that you have now,” said Sonya Turner with United Way.  “It’s currently spread across 54 programs.  That makes it very difficult to show any kind of impact or really achieve the kind of goals that you want to see for this funding.”

If Council approves, funds for programs designed to reduce violence would be eliminated for now.  It could be restored later if the city is able to provide more money.  

“There is no backbone organization and the money is spread out, and there’s no real metric or measure to show success there,” said Council Member Yvette Simpson explaining why the funds were being suspended.  “So the recommendation of the working group is that we assemble a group of individuals led by the police department and several organizations that have been funded, to devise a plan to come up with a backbone organization and a set of goals.”

In the past, the city provided 1.5 percent of the total general fund budget for human services.  But reductions have cut that to $1.5 million this year.  The goal is to increase it to $3 million next year.