Who Cares? The past few years the major headlines have highlighted the economic crisis and the people it has affected. People have lost their jobs, their savings, and their homes. But lost amongst the headlines have been the thousands of nonprofits who have helped people weather the storm, just as they have always done, but may not be able to do for much longer. As New York State attempts to balance its budget, it also looks to human services – as a place to cut funding. But with all the other current problems out there, why should you care about this one?
Human services, and the nonprofits that provide them, are an integral part of the daily lives of most New Yorkers. Senior centers, home delivered meals, after-school programs, community centers, day-care, job training – these are all human services. The reality is that many people do not even realize that they benefit from human services, but will notice when they are gone. The local community center where kids play basketball after school will close. The senior center where your grandmother goes to play bingo with her friends will close. The food pantries, where thousands of people go to supplement their food budget, will close. As will domestic violence shelters, homeless prevention programs, medical assistance to the homebound, and countless other vital services that so many New Yorkers depend on.
Do You Care?
• As of November 2010, 799,485 people were unemployed in NY State, an unemployment rate of 8.3%.
• Nearly 1 in 5 NYC residents would be unable to afford food immediately after losing their household income.
• 1 in 5 children (925,000) in NY State live in poverty.
• Approximately 397,000 children were served by soup kitchens and food pantries in 2007—a 48% increase since 2004.
• In 2009, 43.6 million people (14.3%) in the nation lived below the poverty line.
It is true that New York needs to balance the budget, but it cannot do so by putting more people at risk of poverty, and by depriving hard working New Yorkers of services that are integral to not only their happiness, but to their survival. The Who Cares? I Do. Campaign is a statewide campaign that seeks to protect all of us from losing services that are essential to the well-being of real people in our communities. Our goal is to inform and educate the public about the importance of human services, how we all benefit from them, and how they are in danger of losing funding and shuttering their doors. With your help, we can let government know that human services matter, and that we encourage government to continue funding programs that we rely on.
I Do. Join us in saying I care about human services by signing the Who Cares? I Do. petition and learning more about what you can do to let government know that you care about human services. Make your voice heard today!
Contributed by Michelle Jackson of
Human Services Council of NYC, Inc.