"With March being the weather that it was the last couple of weeks, we are getting a lot of requests," said Lynn Ackershock, executive director of the agency that has offices in
Individuals and families will find themselves in fuel crisis about five months earlier if the federal heating assistance program is eliminated, as President
Trump, in his budget plan, said the heating assistance program has a "lower impact" in comparison to other federal assistance programs, and "is unable to demonstrate strong performance outcomes."
Local human service agency directors disagree.
"A lot of them (families) depend on that to help them get through the middle of the winter with the high utility bills," said
The increased need for assistance would come as many human services agencies would lose funding under a related Trump budget proposal to eliminate the federal Community Service
The federal government allocated
Many local agencies receive federal health care funding, which also is threatened, as well as human services funding, said
"It's hard enough on a lot of these agencies if one piece drops. But if you have two pieces, when you're running on a shoestring as it is, it could close people's doors," he said.
"We would go from a million-and a-quarter budget to maybe a quarter-of-a-million budget and that would mean we would not be here anymore," Ackershock said.
The Community Services
"That office would be eliminated immediately," she said.
"We're privately funded, but I imagine that (federal program cuts) will increase our assistance requests. So we're definitely keeping an eye on it," she said.
"It's because of proposed cuts to programs such as these that she does not support the president's budget proposal," Flanagin said. "The president's budget proposal is the first step in the process, but ultimately
Ackershock, of Community Action, said
"I've been here for 30 years, and this has happened before," she said. "I am the least optimistic that I have ever been. I am not in panic mode yet, but it's waking me up in the middle of the night."
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