Talk is cheap but just about everything else in life costs money which is why Kent City Council sets aside real money in the City Budget — to the tune of $100,000 every year — to help fund local agencies that offer support services that are considered important in the Kent community. It’s called putting your money where your mouth is. Governments were born out of the need for public safety and public health, and over time this mission has evolved to include a wider and wider range of other community based services. But we’re smart enough to realize that we can’t do everything for everyone with city employees so years ago Kent City Council established a social service line item in the budget that makes it possible to contract out those important social services to the professional agencies that are best suited to deliver them. Call it out-sourcing or privatizing but either way it’s a formula that has worked.
Given the mounting financial hardships for people that live here we’re seeing an ever rising number of requests for government help. From housing to employment assistance, more and more people need help. The City is proud to be the line between safety and harm for as many people as possible but the numbers are working against us. The safety net that we can afford to cast for people in need is only so big and these days it can’t catch everyone. That means choices between good programs have to made.
Here’s how the 2009 Social Service dollars will be allocated:
ASYDI – Academic Sports/Youth Development Institute
PMHA – Portage Metropolitan Housing Agency
CAC – Community Action Council of Portage County