The Austin Chronicle

Sorting the Categories: Current Social Services Contracts

By Wells Dunbar, October 15, 2010, News

The Health and Human Services Department has prepared a breakdown of how current social service contracts would fit into the five priority areas City Council approved for future funding. H&HS won't yet reveal the individual contracts that make up the pie – likely in order to not affect the new bidding process. In any case, sorting the programs is an inexact science; as H&HS Director David Lurie said when presenting the graph to council, there's overlap in several areas and their desired outcomes, and putting each contract into one category was difficult. However, the exercise is useful in demonstrating how the city prioritizes its funding currently and how closely it tracks to the new prioritization council recently passed.

We've listed several agencies that roughly fit into one of the five categories and their current annual funding from the city.

Safety Net/Infrastructure Services

Caritas of Austin (providing food, housing services, and more): $1,146,732

Meals on Wheels and More (delivering meals to homebound persons): $246,752

SafePlace (shelters, counseling, and more for sexual assault victims): $670,016

Transition Out of Poverty

Communities in Schools – Central Texas (dropout prevention programs): $301,965

Capital IDEA (work-force and educational training): $1,086,098

Problem Prevention

Easter Seals Central Texas (providing assistance to disabled citizens): $301,104

Crime Prevention Institute (assisting former inmates' transition into society): $86,307

Universal Support Services

Immigration Counseling and Outreach Services: $21,425

OutYouth (support for GLBT teens): $25,205


Leadership Enrichment Arts Program (arts program for African-American students): $32,137

BookSpring (program promoting reading and literacy): $21,425

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