Program Cuts at the Community Service CenterThe City of Gainesville announced today service reductions to the Community Service Center. The Counseling and Psychotherapy program will end October 31, 2011 and the Building Better Babies program will end December 31, 2011.
During the Fiscal Year 2012 budget process, Hall County ordered a $120,000 cut to the funding provided to the Community Service Center as part of its budget reduction efforts. The City of Gainesville is the fiscal agent for the Community Service Center, which is jointly funded by both the City and Hall County. “We value our Community Service Center and its efforts in the community,” said Mayor Ruth Bruner. “However, we cannot offset the $120,000 cut from the County and we had to make a very difficult decision.”
Community Service Center Director Phillippa Lewis Moss stated, “We are dedicated to our clients and we will work diligently to find alternatives that may be accessible within the community. We want to provide a transition that will be as smooth as possible. Although the program is ending October 31, our counselors will work through December 31 to help clients make a transition.”
The Community Service Center will be ending the Building Better Babies program, in conjunction with Northeast Georgia Medical Center, on December 31, 2011. In 2010, the Building Better Babies received grant funding from the Governor’s Office for Children and Families. The program started with this seed grant for prevention and intervention activities for children at risk of child abuse and neglect. However, with the recent budget cuts and underlying economic environment, it would be challenging to sustain the program beyond the grant period. “The City re-evaluated its participation in the program, along with Northeast Georgia Medical Center, and decided we could not financially support the program on its own. Therefore, we decided to end the program effective December 31,” stated Mayor Ruth Bruner.