My Turn: Nonprofits need your help | SierraSun.com

My Turn: Nonprofits need your help

Alison Schwedner
Director of the Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee

Anyone who has glanced at a newspaper, flipped through the nightly news or turned the dial to a news radio show has probably learned about the economic hardships facing health and human service organizations.

Among those of us who work in human services, reduced funding, budget cuts and layoffs have unfortunately become part of our colloquial dialogue.

The recent increase in demand for services from our local helping organizations is unprecedented. More and more people are walking through the doors of Tahoe Truckee nonprofits looking for help with basic needs as families struggle to make ends meet. Families who have traditionally been financially self-sufficient are now finding themselves turning to local agencies for a helping hand.

As a result, our local nonprofits are being strained. Project MANA has seen a 28 percent increase this year in community members needing help with food. Tahoe Women’s Services Safe House has been at capacity all year with a waiting list, as women seeking to flee violent relationships have less financial resources and rely more on shelters.

The Family Resource Centers in Truckee and Kings Beach have seen an increase in community members handed eviction and utility “shut off” notices and asking for rental assistance. Decreased monthly incomes prevent many of our working families from being able to make monthly payments.

Compounding the problem is an overall reduction in resources available for health and human services. As revenues decline at a state and federal level, dollars are pulled away from services. Also, as the economy stalls globally, we have seen a reduction in people able to give locally.

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Tahoe Women’s Services has experienced a $45,000 reduction in state funding combined with an anticipated 30 percent decrease in donations in this year alone. The bottom line, our local nonprofit organizations are serving more ” with less!

Health and Human service organizations are crucial to the fabric of any thriving and vital community. These organizations work to help our communities stay healthy and safe, nourished and financially stable, and connected and supported. Please contribute to Gifts for Good this year and help maintain the vitality of our helping community.

Contact Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation for further information 587-1776 or visit http://www.ttcf.net/give.