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

Mia Wasikowska On The Sounds Of Camels And The Lure Of Travel

Melissa Block talks with actress Mia Wasikowska about her new film, Tracks, which follows a woman on a long journey with only camels and a dog for company.
NPR

Giving Chickens Bacteria ... To Keep Them Antibiotic-Free

What does it take to get chickens off antibiotics? According to Perdue Farms, an added dose of the "good bacteria" known as probiotics can help crowd out the harmful microbes that make a chicken sick.
NPR

Why Did Congress Kick The Can On Funding Islamic State Mission?

The president got approval for his plan to train and equip Syrian opposition fighters, but lawmakers didn't approve funds to pay for it or the broader air campaign.
NPR

Some Tech Firms Capitalize On Privacy

Steve Henn of NPR's Planet Money team profiles some entrepreneurs who are working on a novel business model to start up a new tech company. It's pay for service. What a concept.

Leave a Comment

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