Nearly $200,000 in Human Services grants approved

GEORGETOWN – A few bucks shy of 200,000 taxpayer dollars are earmarked for eligible non-profits in Sussex County’s Human Grant Services Program.

Meals on Wheels, with a $10,000 grant to support nutrition for homebound seniors, and CHEER senior centers at $5,000 each received the largest monetary slices from the overall $199,975 Human Grant Services pie.

Sussex County Council voted 4-0 in approving County Finance Director Gina Jennings’ recommendation for fiscal year 2016 grant allocations at the Nov. 10 council meeting.

Funding distribution was based on a formula system initiated for the 2015 budget year.

Via online application, the County received $455,049 in requests from 83 qualified applicants, Ms. Jennings said.

All requests were reviewed by Finance Department staff to determined applicant non-profit status with the Internal Revenue Service.

In comparison, for 2015 there requests from 82 applicants totaling $437,000, with $143,520 awarded.

Calculations show that the $199,975 will result in 203,612 Sussex County beneficiaries.

In addition, the non-profit organizations generated approximately $8.5 million of other types of support for these projects, Ms. Jennings said.

To make it equitable all Boys and Girls Clubs receive $1,500, all CHEER senior centers $5,000 and Meals on Wheels receives $10,000, Ms. Jennings said.

The purpose of the countywide Human Service Grants Program Grants is to enhance health and human services, which contribute to a safe, healthy and self-sufficient community. Funds provide grants that assist organizations with resources in support of programs or capital purchases, Ms. Jennings said.

County Councilman George Cole, R-Ocean View, suggested that Council consider setting aside additional funding for organizations who help the homeless.

“The problem is growing. Maybe we could maybe set up a special account,” said Mr. Cole. “We have so many seniors. The senior population and youth, right now, the drug problems and all of this kind of stuff. So it would be nice to make sure we have emphasis on low-income people; low-income people that are elderly and low income that are under 18. I can see a growing problem in both areas.”

County Councilmen Rob Arlett, R-Frankford, said more emphasis should be focused on homelessness and those struggling on low income.

“I know there are some non-profits out there that are very wealthy,” said Mr. Arlett. “I will tell you there are some organizations; I visited one last week … right here in Georgetown, a homeless shelter. They don’t have enough money to pay for their electric bill. That is a problem. Could we give more to them and maybe not so much for others that have really a lot of money, but might be a non-profit but are asking because they can?”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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