Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Budget Impasse Cost Nonprofits Thousands Services Slashed for 17,000 Clients in All of Pa.'s 67 Counties

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Budget Impasse Cost Nonprofits Thousands Services Slashed for 17,000 Clients in All of Pa.'s 67 Counties

Article excerpt

Between a loan, tapping a line of credit, freezing salaries for employees and cutting extras such as a holiday party, Every Child Inc., an Uptown agency that places at-risk children in foster care, was able to make it through the state's months long budget impasse.

"Because of the fragile state of the consumers we work with, we couldn't cut services," said Laura Maines, the agency's executive director.

A new survey illustrates just how hard-hit Pennsylvania nonprofits were by the budget impasse.

Among the findings: 45 organizations will need to pay back a collective total of $532,000 in interest, and the equivalent of more than 380 full-time employees were laid off, furloughed or had their hours, pay or benefits eliminated or reduced, according to the survey, which was jointly conducted by the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations, the United Way of Pennsylvania and the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership.

The survey also found 17,100 clients served by 22 organizations in all 67 counties received no or reduced services as a result of the impasse, and 135 organizations had to borrow money, whether it was from their own cash reserves, borrowing from banks or "borrowing" from their vendors by delaying payments.

Bridgeway Capital, a Downtown-based nonprofit fund that typically lends money to small businesses and for community development initiatives, made $2.1 million in emergency loans available during the budget impasse.

The funds went to nonprofits that were "almost exclusively human services providers that dealt with the most vulnerable populations," said Adam Kenney, Bridgeway spokesman.

Of 18 loans it made, nine have been paid back in full.

Among them was a $100,000 loan to Every Child Inc. Besides the loan from Bridgeway it secured several months into the budget crisis last fall, Every Child tapped $450,000 from a $500,000 existing line of credit it has with PNC Bank, said Ms. Maines.

"We were kissing the top of that line of credit by the time January rolled around," she said.

She expects the PNC credit line to be paid off in July.

But the agency incurred between $11,000 and $12,000 in interest costs that won't be reimbursed. …

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