by Niki King
Community PR Specialist
Metro United Way is cutting funding this year to 15 charities in the Louisville area, including the Jewish Community of Louisville.
The agency will receive $50,000 less for its senior services and $20,000 less for its youth programs than in years past. Both cuts amounted to half of the 2013 United Way funding for the programs.
Stu Silberman, JCL president and CEO, said United Way funding amounts to about one-fourth of the budget for both programs. The loss of revenue “poses significant challenges for us. We are going to find a way to meet the needs of the members of our community,” he was quoted as saying in The Courier-Journal.
The news is recent and it’s unclear yet how the deficit will be met, Silberman said, Ideas include seeking corporate funding and pursuing other grants.
The seniors program, which serves about 225 people annually, includes exercise classes, nutrition programs and out-of-town trips. The youth program focuses on youth development, school readiness, total wellness, enhanced decision making, life skills and camps. It serves about 550 children annually.
Silberman said the programs are critically important for the health and well being of participants.
United Way officials explained that the decision was in no way a reflection of the quality of the programs, but that they simply can’t meet the needs of all the agencies seeking aid.
“Which we understand completely, because like the United Way, we also raise funds for Jewish groups and we’re unable to fund everything we’d like to either,” Silberman said.
He said United Way leadership also indicated they wanted to fund programs that served more seniors than the JCL serves and youth programs that focus more specifically on preventing summertime learning loss, an organizational objective.