Update on the county budget–sure, the churches can do it

There have been more articles about the proposed cuts to human services in the Dane County budget. Hearings have been taking place this week, and Pat Schneider of the Cap Times has been asking hard questions about the proposed cuts in funding to the Salvation Army’s Warming House (the warming house provides mattresses for homeless families in the SA’s headquarters when their shelter overflows). Also on the cutting floor is the county’s support for Community Action Coalition, which serves Dane County food pantries. Lynn Green, director of the Human Services department, rationalizes the cuts in this way:

“This community cares. It does what it can to fill in the gaps,” Green told me in an interview Friday. Church groups and others already run food and clothing programs, she says. “I believe this is something this community can rally around and pick up.”

The article is here, and an earlier report on the budget hearings is here. I have previously posted about this crisis. I don’t know if the numbers of people visiting our food pantry have increased in the past month or so,¬† but I have the sense from helping out at First Mondays at Grace, as well as my daily rounds on the square, that the demand on services is increasing.
I’m really not sure how much more we can do. The economy is difficult for everyone, and many of our parishioners are state workers who have seen their take-home pay and benefits cut, leaving them with less to give.