Budget Cuts Threaten Homeless Outreach Program | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Budget Cuts Threaten Homeless Outreach Program

Play associated audio
Former client of Volunteers of America Chesapeake's Montgomery County Mental Health & Homeless Outreach Program Sidney McEachin (left) stands beside program director Victoria Karakcheyeva (right) at the program's headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Courtney Dunn, Volunteers of America Chesapeake
Former client of Volunteers of America Chesapeake's Montgomery County Mental Health & Homeless Outreach Program Sidney McEachin (left) stands beside program director Victoria Karakcheyeva (right) at the program's headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

By Natalie Neumann

In Maryland, the proposed Montgomery County budget reduces funding for homeless outreach services. For one group that's more than 40 percent of its budget. That could mean the group will go under in the next fiscal year.

Four months ago Sidney McEachin was homeless and had been for more than a year. But since then his luck has changed.

"It's overwhelming. I'm still in a whirlwind," says McEachin.

He heard about a program that would help him out: Volunteers of America Chesapeake's homeless outreach program. They helped McEachin get food stamps, counseling for his depression and he says he was touched by a case worker's dedication to help him find a home.

"She took me to the interview for the housing on Christmas Eve. I said 'Wow, they must really, really care,'" he says.

McEachin says the county should keep funding the organization.

"I'm not saying we don't need smooth roads. But I'd rather have roads full of potholes than homeless people," he says.

But with the county facing a $761 million shortfall, many hard choices lie ahead before the budget is finalized in May.

NPR

How Did The Son Of A Terrorist Chose Peace?

Zak Ebrahim is the son of terrorist El-Sayyid Nosair, one of the masterminds of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He tells the story of being raised to hate and how he chose a very different path.
NPR

Around The World In 8 Hospital Meals

From tasty tempura to gross gruel, hospital meals across the globe vary wildly. High-brow institutions in China and India have long served top-notch food. U.S. hospitals are starting to follow suit.
NPR

Congress Quietly Extends The Budget — Past Election Day, Anyway

Since the GOP retook the House, the chamber once brought the country to the brink of a debt default and once shut down the government. But in election years, including this one, there's no such drama.
NPR

Retailers' Customers Cautioned As Cyber Attacks Continue

Home Depot says some 56 million card holders were possibly compromised in a cyber attack. It says there's no evidence that debit PIN numbers were comprised or that the breach affected online shoppers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.