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Advocates For Social Services Fear Budget Cuts

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By Natalie Neumann

Advocates for health and human services in Montgomery County fear programs could be cut because of a tight budget. They're urging the county council to maintain funding for organizations that help needy citizens.

Anthony Martin carries a green sign that reads "Everyone Needs a Home." Martin used to live on the streets but with help from the County Coalition for the Homeless he was able to turn his and his two sons' lives around.

"My boys have now got a 100 percent attendance at school. They have health insurance. I've been working at the same job for five years because I've found housing," says Martin.

Martin says cutting funding to programs like the one that helped him would cause more people to be homeless.

But the County faces a 761 million dollar budget gap.

Council member Mike Knapp says the county doesn't have a lot of options.

"We're going to try to find the best of the bad options," says Knapp.

Knapp says the council will continue dialogue with the health and human services community.

County Executive Ike Leggett will release his recommended operating budget March 15th. The Council has final say over the budget.

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