Nonprofits appeal for city funding in budget

Nonprofits appeal for city funding in budget
June 14
04:00 2018

With the city voting on its budget on Monday, many nonprofits used last week’s budget hearing for a last minute appeal to the city for funding.

Every year, both the city and county devote some of their budget to funding local nonprofits. The city’s proposed $530 million budget, which includes no tax increase, has nearly $1.2 million for community agencies, $1.3 million for programs to reduce recidivism under the city’s SOAR (Successful Outcomes After Release) initiative and $2 million from various federal grants for nonprofits.

The groups receiving money from the city in the proposed budget vary greatly. Prominent organizations such as the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, shelters such as the Bethesda Center for the Homeless  and rehab programs such as adult drug court all received funding. Experiment in Self Reliance, HARRY Veterans Outreach Services, Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods, Goodwill Industries, Habitat for Humanity and Freedom Tree at IDR (Institute for Dismantling Racism) were also among the funded.

Many organizations use the budget hearing to thank the city for funding. The National Black Theatre Festival’s Sylvia Sprinkle Hamlin and Ward Miller spoke, thanking City Council members for the $100,000 the biennial festival was awarded. They said the city gets a return on its investment, since the 2017 festival, which held 143 performances, generated $8 million for the local economy with 4,210  hotel room stays, which is an increase of 28 percent from 2015. Sprinkle Hamlin said they’re already receiving calls about reserving rooms for next year’s festival.

“So 2017 was great, and we’re hoping 2019 will be even greater, and we thank you again for your support,” she said.

Positive Wellness Alliance, which serves those with HIV/AIDS, thanked the city for giving it $35,100 for the second year in a row for its case manager position, which is filled by Michael Hall. Hall provides medical and housing case management, focusing on connecting homeless people with the resources they need to get off the streets.

“I’m excited and pleased to be doing the work that I’m doing because it’s effortless to me because I love community,” said Hall.

But as always, there were more requests for money than funds available and council members heard from many nonprofits that were denied. Some were long-established nonprofits such as Authoring Action, a youth development program that focuses on poetry and the arts. The group’s co-founders Lynn Rhoades and Nathan Ross Freeman appealed to the City Council for their $20,000 request.

“We’ve been doing this … getting ready for 17 years, with small grants and individual donations and it would be great to have the city support future citizens with this,” said Rhoades.

High Horizons Academies for Leadership and Community Development appealed for $50,000. The CDC was formed in 2015 by Praise Assembly Church Ministries to serve the Kernersville Road  and Waughtown Street area in Southeast Winston-Salem. The money would help the group expand its Summer Academic and Enrichment Program for students, which focuses on reading and math.

“The CDC, along with the church, has high hopes and high aspirations of working in that area to really make a change in the lives of individuals, particularly starting with our children,” said York.

Other denied nonprofits that appealed for money included the downtown art house theater a/perture Cinema, Crosby Scholars, North Carolina Governor’s School Foundation, Paisley Alumni Association and Winston-Salem MIXXER, a maker space with resources for creative entrepreneurs located on Martin Luther King Drive.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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