Nonprofit Ad Campaign:
Human service providers, staff and clients say services in jeopardy without long term funding increases.
(Hartford, CT) — The Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance today launched a a paid online and social media campaign featuring nonprofit human service providers, staff and clients in five separate videos urging lawmakers and the Governor to support programs struggling after a decade of flat funding and the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic.
Community-based nonprofits contract with the state to provide a wide range of behavioral, developmental, community justice and other human services to thousands of people across the state every day. After more than a decade without a funding increase, nonprofits estimate they are $461 million behind in funding, and have called for a five-year commitment to increases. A four percent increase was included in last year’s state budget.
Featured speakers say nonprofit staff who provide live-saving services are struggling, and underfunding is putting care for the clients in jeopardy.
Fernando Muniz, CEO of Community Solutions, which provides juvenile justice, child welfare and community justice programs, and Yvette Young, Associate Vice President for Programming for The Village, which provides child and family counseling services, say that the 2021 increase approved by the General Assembly and the Governor was a good start, but nonprofits need sustained funding increases.
“After two years of COVID, our staff is overworked, underpaid and looking for new jobs. There’s better pay at the Amazon warehouse. This year, we need $153 million to make up the deficit,” Muniz and Young say. “We need your support. We are Connecticut’s safety net.”
Two videos speak to the value of community nonprofit services. (links to all four videos mentioned below)
“I am German Mercado and I work for the Columbus House; we help people get connected to housing and get off the street,” says one nonprofit staffer.
James Mandile, who today lives in his own apartment in Middletown, says Gilead Community Services saved his life. “I always suffered from mental illness and I wasn’t functioning properly as a teenager. About 10 years ago, Gilead introduced themselves to me and I haven’t been in the hospital in 10 years.”
In other videos, speakers directly address the need for funding. (links to all four videos)
James Gardner, who lives in a Mosaic group home for people with developmental disabilities, said nonprofits need better funding because long term underfunding stresses the people who care for him. “I know a lot of things are going up. Groceries are going up; gas is going up and my insurance is going up. Please give us more money because we’re struggling every day.”
Diana Giordano, who leads the United Services Crisis Team that responds to people in mental health crisis, said the lack of adequate funding is endangering lives. “The next pandemic will be the mental health pandemic. Without the resources, people will fall through the cracks. People will literally die.”
The videos will run through the end of April on social media and in digital advertising statewide.
https://youtu.be/9mZfbZ16ouE — Muniz and Young video.
https://youtu.be/jTjxbCmyUPQ — Mercado, Mandile, Giordano and Gardner video