Amherst A Better Chance
Social service agencies in Amherst must be on a bad karma list, as nothing but negative news seems to come this way.
Last week the town announced a $900,000 federal dollar hit as annual Community Development Block Grant funding is about to vaporize because Amherst no longer meets the minimum qualifications for mini-entitlement status.
A maxi problem for agencies such as the newly expanded homeless shelter, Craig's Doors, or the Amherst Survival Center.
Now via her Facebook page, AABC board member Julie Marcus sounded the alarm about the iconic, ever-so-Amherst program where the name says it all: "A Better Chance".
The Juggernaut of charities, the United Way of Hampshire County, has axed all funding to this longtime Amherst institution.
Ms. Marcus reports AABC has received UW funding for at least the past 15 years that she has been involved, although a few years back they did reduce annual revenues from $25,000 to $13,000.
The total annual budget for the 44-year-old Amherst program is only $100,000, so 13% is a pretty big hit to absorb all at once. And it's not like the agency doesn't work at fundraising: October 20 will mark the 41st "Fall Foliage Walk," a major fundraiser for the program and a popular, fun, family outing.
One has to wonder how all the participants in that heartwarming event are going to feel about this cold hearted decision? Perhaps -- as donors -- they will tell the United Way of Hampshire County to take a hike.