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NMCAA Braces For Sequestration Budget Cuts

By Mike Scott

Northeast Missouri Community Action Agency in bracing for the effects of Sequestration on their programs serving northeast Missouri. NMCCA’s mission  is to assists individuals, families, and communities achieve their greatest potential.
Since 1965, Northeast Missouri Community Action Agency (NMCAA) has provided multiple support services to low-income populations in an effort to remove barriers towards economic self-sufficiency.  NMCAA serves Adair, Clark, Knox, Schuyler, and Scotland counties in Northeast Missouri.
“We have not received official word from some of our funders as yet.  These cuts will have a crippling affect on low-wage earning individuals and elderly living on fixed incomes in Northeast Missouri,” Penny Miles, NMCCA Executive Director.
NMCAA provides the following direct services:
Head Start
Head Start provides quality programs for children and families and is reflected in the emphasis placed on promoting the growth and development of children, parents and families. Services include developmental screenings and assessments, medical and dental exams and follow-up, home visits designed to support the families’ role as the child’s primary educator, parent involvement activities, and case management.
Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)
A state administered grant program designed to reduce poverty, revitalize communities and empower low-income families and individuals to become self-sufficient in both a rural and urban setting. The Community Services Block Grant enables NMCAA to custom build programs or design initiatives that are tailored to meet the changing needs of Northeast Missouri.
Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Includes two components and is designed to aide households in need of utility/energy assistance.
Energy Assistance (EA) which is a federally NMCAA 11
funded program which assists low-income households once each winter with home heating costs.
The Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) provides financial assistance to households in which utility services are disconnected or are in the immediate threat of being disconnected. The ECIP program has funds available through both the winter and summer months.
A service provided to households in an effort to reduce energy use and expenses by installing cost effective, energy efficient measures that result in safer, healthier, and more comfortable homes.
The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
This nutrition program is designed to improve the quality of meals and snacks served in childcare settings. CACFP provides monetary reimbursement for food purchases to licensed or registered home daycare providers who care for children 0-13 years of age. In addition to food purchase reimbursement, child care providers receive training on nutritious meal planning and healthy lifestyles. (NMCAA’s CACFP serves an additional seven counties in Northeast Missouri: Macon, Marion, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Shelby, and Sullivan counties.
Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP)
An eviction prevention program designed to provide eligible program participants with emergency rent/mortgage assistance, rent payments, and utility assistance.  EFSP payments are designed to stabilize households and create a consistent, more permanent living situation for individuals and families.
(What 5% cuts will mean to NMCAA)
Head Start: NMCAA will  more than likely  have to close another HS center (We closed our Luray center in FY12) when our grant starts August 1, 2013.  We will lose $103,051 for FY13 (2013-2014 school year).  We already took as State FY12 (2012-2013 School year) cut of $278,365.  That is a loss of almost $400,000 to our Head Start Budget in the last 18 months.
CSBG-Funding was already decreased by 25% prior to the start of FY13 grant year.  NMCAA is currently operating at a loss of $59,503.75 in CSBG funding.
LIHEAP-This year FY13 we were hit with a significant decrease in funding from $495,811 in FY12 to $300,457 in FY13 ($195,354). Another 5% reduction for our agency will mean a loss of an additional $15,000 in FY14. (Well over a  $200,000 cut in funding within the last 24 months)
Weatherization: Missouri did not receive any FY13 funding…Missouri was ZERO funded by the Federal Government for FY13 (The current program year).  NMCAA has been stretching program operations on FY12 carryover money and the funds received from utility company settlements.
“The FY 14 funding looks dismal as the Federal lobbyists are telling us Weatherization is on “life Support”.  If we base 5% cut on our FY12 Budget ($238,184) it will mean a loss of almost $12,000 in FY14.  ”.  If we base 5% cut on our FY13 Budget ($0)…well you know 5% of ZERO is still ZERO…but NMCAA would ultimately lose $238,184 in funding. (Already lost in our current FY13 Year)
Total loss for NMCAA in 2013-2014= $910,000 (At Least…as this does not include the loss to other programs such as CACFP, EFSP, Small Utility Grants, etc.)
This not about money, it is about people.  The money lost by our agency really represents hundreds of families not receiving important quality of life resources.  We are also one of the largest employers in the area, employing approximately 100 people many of whom work in our most rural communities.  Loss of funding will ultimately mean a reduction in staff,” said Heather Rohn, Outcomes/Quality Assurance Director.