A new funding formula for Lexington’s social service agencies is in the works. Millions of tax dollars go to organizations that provide services on behalf of the city. They provide assistance in areas like housing, employment, and health care. Social Services Commissioner Beth Mills believes a clear formula with specific requirements and a firm deadline creates a level playing field for all agencies seeking city funds.
“Somebody could have inadvertently not understood something or not gotten a table in, that’s why we give a week’s review before we give them a penalty for not getting it in. But, if it’s less than 75 percent that comes to our office, I think that that application should probably be rejected in fairness to all the agencies that did due diligence,” said Mills.
Researchers at the University of Kentucky are also putting Lexington’s urban problems under a microscope. Some of their observations were shared Tuesday with council members. Ginny Wilson, who helps direct UK’s Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, says one study looked into aggravated assaults along Lexington’s bus routes. They saw that safe transportation and adequate housing are linked.
“This whole notion of safe and affordable housing or transportation, feeling safe about going out, particularly for evening and nighttime jobs. And we just wanted to see if there was a relation. We can’t draw any conclusions, I mean, we see the picture, just like you do. But, we thought it was an interesting picture to examine,” added Wilson.
The graduate students examined topics ranging from job training, affordable housing and the services required by residents with special needs.