IMPACT

Grassroot Nonprofit Funds Delayed Amid Shutdown, So Everyday People Step In

10/15/2013 10:49 am ET | Updated Oct 15, 2013
AP

Amid the government shutdown, much attention has been paid to funding gaps with Head Start, AmeriCorps and other nonprofits receiving federal resources. But local organizations tackling social issues across the U.S., many of which receive funds from the behemoth umbrella groups, are speaking out as well.

A recent survey from the Nonprofit Finance Fund revealed that 43 percent of 97 nonprofit survey respondents felt a delay in government payments during the government impasse.

And across the country, many local organizations can put names and faces to the statistics -- as well as those who are helping.

In Las Vegas, for example, a rape crisis center that gets nearly half of its funding from the federal government will have to cut programs if the shutdown continues, Fox 5 reported. And Shade Tree, a woman's shelter in Sin City, is laying off 10 percent of its staff. "All of us are used to dealing with a crisis, but we can prepare for that kind of crisis," Tree Marlene Richter, executive director of Shade Tree, told the news outlet. "This is a little different."

In San Francisco, it's the same story, but with a happier ending for some.

The shutdown has prevented some homeless individuals in the City By The Bay from moving into federally subsidized apartments, PBS reported.

Housing officials were unable to give tenants keys because they couldn't finalize the paperwork with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Luckily for some, the community is stepping in. An anonymous donor came forward to pay the first month of rent for Dior Hall, a 36 year-old, part-time Walgreens cashier, the news outlet reported.

"One of the first things that hit me when I walked through the door was a sense of responsibility. I need to pay my own bills, pay my rent. And I need to keep it going so I don't have to go through (being homeless) again," she said. "To be able to sleep in ... my own bed and not on a mat. I'm just very, very happy."

And in Little Rock, Ark., Our House, a local shelter for working homeless families, relies on AmeriCorps members to serve meals to families, executive director Georgia Mjartan told HuffPost.

She said the community has chipped in to help cover bills, rent, utilities and student loans.

"We want to be able to tell our members that no matter how long this shut-down lasts, we will not leave them hanging," she told HuffPost in an email.

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