Assembly Finance Committee meets tonight

The Juneau Assembly Finance Committee on Wednesday will determine non-profit funding for the next two years.

While the Social Services Advisory Board recommends grants for all 24 that applied, the money runs out at 20.

The SSAB uses various criteria to score the programs, and all fall within five points of each other. But Catholic Community Services’ Hospice and Homecare, Southeast Alaska Independent Living’s adult ORCA program, and two National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence programs would not get grants under the SSAB’s ranking. The city has funded all of them in the past.

“It would be different if general funds were appropriated on a regular basis, but instead the agencies have to compete against each other for these funds,” says SSAB chairwoman Joanne Schmidt.

She says the SSAB has revised funding guidelines, clarified criteria, and used research to show whether applicants meet a critical need in Juneau.

“So we decided that we wanted to match our focus with community issues as identified by the United Way’s Compass to Assessment Report as well as the Juneau Economic Indicators report, both which were done in 2011,” she says.

Catholic Community Services administrators say CBJ dollars are very important to the Hospice and Homecare program. The organization is obligated to serve people who need home healthcare, whether or not they can pay for services. It’s also a part of the Juneau Homeless Coalition health care program that serves all people, regardless of ability to pay.

Schmidt says social services grants fell $120,000 short in the last budget cycle, and the Assembly funded all the applicants. But that’s never guaranteed.

All nine Assembly members sit as the Finance Committee. The budget must be the completed and approved by June 15th. The Finance Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. in Assembly chambers.