The recession may be over, but the reality for too many families we serve is they have to make tough choices: do I buy groceries or pay rent? Do I care for sick child or go to work? Do I buy gas or school supplies?
These are questions that the Virginia General Assembly must take into consideration as they reconcile the budget. Now is not the time to cut funds from programs that are helping neighbors in need who are struggling become self-sufficient. That was the message that I, along with a group of 50 other leaders from Nonprofit Virginia, delivered to the General Assembly in Richmond recently.
Unfortunately, if the Virginia Legislature cuts funds that support our core services and diverts sales taxes to fund transportation, the choices will become even more desperate for the 58,000 Fairfax County residents living in poverty who are productive, contributing citizens that just need a little help to stay stable.
Nearly 60 percent of the cuts in the Governor's budget affect those who are low-income at time when the region is already reeling from the great recession. As we all know, a neighbor's problems have a way of becoming a community's problem. So if these cuts occur, rest assured that the long-term ramifications for all of us will be significant.
Executive Director, FACETS, a nonprofit serving those suffering the effects of poverty in Fairfax County
Kerrie Wilson,CEO, Reston Interfaith, a nonprofit helping people build more stable lives by connecting them to vital resources that solve their needs for housing, childcare, food or financial assistance.