Friday, June 17, 2005

URGENT -- Impending DHS Funding Cuts 


A crisis has occurred in the City of Philadelphia which affects the future of 700 city organizations, 5,000 jobs, and nearly 30,000 children. If approved, funding cuts in Philadelphia's Department of Human Services would be the most severe in the history of the Mural Arts Program, ending funding for 90% of our art education programs starting in July 2005, and delivering far-reaching consequences for the entire city.

What has happened:
Due to federal budget cuts, the burden on the states has increased. This compounds an already bleak budget picture. We just found out that the state is no longer able to provide the city with transitional funds and because of this, the entire Prevention Division of the Department of Human Services is in jeopardy.

Prevention programs are not mandated, until a person or child is locked up or abused they cannot get help - this is the sad truth of the matter.

What it means:
This cut will impact 700 organizations throughout the city. At Mural Arts alone, 2,000 of our children will go without opportunities and many people will lose their jobs. This will be devastating for the organization

These prevention divisions in DHS offer help to the most vulnerable, the most at-risk. The tragedy is that this is the easiest place to cut, and yet the population most impacted by this is the one that needs these services the most; they are without a voice so you need to be their voice.

Please help us by sending letters to your elected officials NOW.

There is a myth that these programs do not work, however, there is significant evidence that these programs DO work:
  • There is clear evidence that delinquency rates are lowered.
  • Young people are getting back into schools -- our anti-truancy program has kids back in school.
  • Young people are realizing opportunites -- our first class of kids from MuralCorps just "graduated" from the program, and a significant number of them are going on to college -- for most, the first from their family to do so -- including a student who received a full scholarship to the Rhode Island School of Design.
  • Pregnant teens are getting help.
  • Kids are being saved.


We desperately need these programs, and to be able to continue to serve these kids. We will pay now, or pay twice as much later.

Thank you for your time & support -- please email me at jenn.mccreary@verizon.net, and I will email you a letter template & a list of elected officials to whom it should be sent. This needs to happen now -- the fiscal year ends 30 June, and these cuts will go into effect on July 1.

-Jenn McCreary.

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