By Matthew Haggman email@example.com
Cuts in social service spending were widely expected when Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez unveiled his first budget proposal this summer. But an increasingly vocal group of charitable and nonprofit groups are criticizing the way in which the county executive is wielding the budget ax.
Under Gimenez’s plan, nonprofits — ranging from the Girl Scouts to the League Against Cancer — are grouped into categories and those deemed to be serving elderly and children, along with offering food, get funded at the same level as a year ago. Everyone else is slated to be cut by fifty percent.
Under Gimenez’s plan, nonprofits are grouped into 11 CBO categories. The five categories getting fully funded are “Basic Needs,” “Children & Adults with Disabilities,” “Children, Youth and Families,” “Criminal Justice” and “Elder Needs.” The six getting slashed 50 percent are “Health,” “Immigrants/New Entrants,” “Special Needs,” “Chambers” and “Workforce Development” and “Other.”
To some, the line separating the haves and have-nots seems to be drawn arbitrarily. Critics says organizations are being thrown into categories that don’t accurately capture that their mission includes helping families and seniors. Further, several nonprofit leaders said, the individual organization should be judged, not it’s purported genre.
“One of the things I expected from Mayor Gimenez was to make awards based on performance and merit, and I fully support that,” Kametra Driver, executive director of We Care of South Dade in Florida City. The group’s funding is slated to be halved from $75,625 annually to $37,813. “We are producing, yet we are going to suffer majorly.”