Pocahontas Family Resource Network unfunded
Marlinton, W.Va. –
The Pocahontas County Family Resource Network has provided a wide range of services to families for several years, but the future of the program is in doubt – due to a lack of funding.
FRN director Laura Young explains.
“Well, we’re in limbo,” she said. “Normally, we get our requests for proposals out in May and we send our grant applications in and we have everything signed off and returned to us by June, from the state. And at that time, they’ll request the invoices for the first drawdown, which $40,000 FRN grant is $10,000. This year, we didn’t get the requests for proposals until June and we just recently sent our signed contracts back in, but there’s no money yet. We should have had a stipend the first of July for $10,000.
“It’s not only affecting the FRN grants, but it’s also affecting the grant that I wrote for the Family Center. Last year was the first year that we had an award. It was a $75,000 award and it allowed us to open that new Family Center in the old Senior Citizens building on Third Avenue. We don’t have a contract in place right now for that funding.
Young says Governor Earl Ray Tomblin might be responsible for the funding hold up.
“You know, this doesn’t just affect the Pocahontas County FRN,” she said. “It’s every FRN in the State of West Virginia. So, there’s been a lot of people on the bandwagon with this with emails and calls. Basically, from what I understand, the budget itself was hung up on the Governor’s desk for quite awhile.”
The director says families are starting to feel the effects.
“Well, it’s starting to have a pretty significant impact,” she said. “We’ve had several people in our office calling about our Back To School Backpack program. There hasn’t been anything in the paper advertised to let people know where they can go to get those school supplies and that’s because we don’t have funding for that. North Central Community Action does have a few backpacks, that are left over from last year. It’s my understanding that, at this time, they’re not stuffed with school supplies, but people can go to North Central and pick up some backpacks for their kids.
“There’s a lot of programs that it affects. We do our monthly ABC program, which is About Babies and Children program, where we give new and expectant mothers information and education on how to take care of their kids and we also provide baby diapers and wipes. There’s no funding for that program. The Nurturing Parenting program – that’s a 12-week program that we provide to county residents – basic parental training – we don’t have money for that. So, it’s really all of our programming. So, right now, we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.”
Young urges community members to contact their elected officials about FRN funding.
“Call your elected officials and tell them what valuable programming we bring to the community and that there’s such a need in our counties for this type of funding and we need our funding and we need it on time.”