One of Lexington’s best known social service agencies has suffered funding cuts from three different sources, totaling close to 120 thousand dollars. Tough to swallow’ news about funding cuts was delivered this summer to officials with the Salvation Army. United Way cut its contribution by 73 thousand dollars, the city of Lexington cut another 20 thousand dollars, and the agency lost 25 thousand dollars in federal support.
The funds supported a homeless emergency shelter, an early learning program, and boys and girls clubs. As a result, Salvation Army Major Debra Ashcraft says they must rely on the generosity of individuals.
“I have absolute faith in God. I realize it’s very possible when people hear there is a need, that they will respond and we won’t have to cut. So, I am cautiously optimistic,” said Ashcraft.
Ashcraft says some 122 children are enrolled in the early learning program while more than 500 are a part of the boys and girls clubs. She says the federal and city reductions could affect services to the homeless.
“But when you house homeless families, you need to, of course, help the parents rebuild their lives and that means providing G-E-D classes, job training and then counseling for some folks. Then they have to work and save money,” added Ashcraft.
The Salvation Army says the short term aim is to offset those cuts, probably through individual contributions.
“How can we raise more money so there won’t be cuts and we’re gonna do everything we can think of to raise more money because the last thing we want to do is cut services at a time when so many people need us,” explained Ashcraft.
Ashcraft says decisions about services could come be made in the near future.