Nonprofits & the Homeless

Nonprofits traditionally do a much better job of working on social problems than government, primarily due to the principle of subsidiarity, and this forthcoming arrangement—as reported by the Sacramento Bee—between the County and Volunteers of America could be of benefit to all, while keeping a threatened program alive.

An excerpt.

“The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors is poised to transfer control of the Mather Community Campus – site of key area homeless programs – to Volunteers of America.

“The supervisors are scheduled to discuss the measure at 11:30 a.m. today at board chambers, 700 H St.

“The move comes about six months after the county’s budget problems threatened to close the campus and is part of a larger shift of social services from the county to local nonprofits.

“In the next couple years the face of nonprofit work in the community is going to change,” said Leo McFarland, VOA’s president and chief executive officer. “We’re just testing this out.”

“Mather Community Campus has been around since 1995 on the site of the former Mather Air Force Base. The campus offers transitional housing for about 320 people who might otherwise be homeless and provides them with vocational training, job search assistance, children’s services and meals.

“It’s a renewal. It’s people who have a second chance to really turn their lives around,” McFarland said.

“Grappling with budget deficits, the county cut much of the program’s funding this fiscal year. General fund money for the campus dropped from about $2.5 million the past two years to about $400,000 for the fiscal year that ends June 30. The Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency helped offset the loss of general fund money this year so officials could find a way to keep the campus open.”

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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