A bleak economy is stretching budgets to the breaking point, but a city grant program promises to ease some of the strain for nonprofits that serve the neediest.
Modesto is gearing up to dole out about $360,000 in federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money will go to social service providers who work with the homeless, hungry and poor.
"We've got unemployment, we've got more and more people facing foreclosure, more and more people are seeking a meal at The Salvation Army," said Judith Ray, deputy director of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods. "That's what we're trying to reflect."
The city hands out the funding every year. The money is part of the city's annual allotment of Community Development Block Grants.
As the economy has flagged, a citizen committee that oversees the grants has focused on funding nonprofits that provide basic needs, Ray said. Last year's recipients included Second Harvest Food Bank and The Salvation Army's winter homeless shelter.
"So often, government is accused of wasting money," Ray said. "This is one of those occasions where the money is going to where the rubber meets the road. There's a well- defined service at the end of the line."
Nonprofits that want the funding have until Feb. 19 to submit applications. Applicants are required to attend a workshop about the grant program.
For more information about the city's public service grants program, contact Lupe Resendez at 577-5254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants must attend one of two workshops. One is Friday at 10 a.m. The other is Feb. 2 at 10 a.m. Both will be at Tenth Street Place, Room 2001, 1010 10th St., Modesto.
Bee staff writer Leslie Albrecht can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2378. Follow her at Twitter.com/BeeReporter.