The latest analysis of the impact of sequestration confirms the fears of nonprofit organizations and the people we serve: our ability to continue to care for our communities will be severely compromised, especially if, as predicted, the numbers of neighbors in need continues to increase. The Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, an alliance of more than 300 nonprofit leaders, is extremely concerned that further cuts will severely damage our ability to serve our most vulnerable residents. Our programs serve all ages – from infants to seniors and from all walks of life. The recent recession left many nonprofits with fewer resources and many more clients struggling to overcome the devastating impact of a layoff, mental illness, foreclosure, or a health crisis. Consider what additional cuts will really mean for the safety-net:
- The WIC nutrition program for low-income pregnant women, infants, and young children will have to turn away tens of thousands of children and new mothers by the end of this fiscal year at the same time that emergency food banks’ are struggling to keep the shelves stocked.
- Shelters in the region are at capacity and there are waiting lists for the limited supply of low-income housing while sequestration threatens to cut housing vouchers for low-income families.
- Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 200 children in the District of Columbia, reducing access to critical early education. Up to 800 disadvantaged and vulnerable children in Maryland and Virginia could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.
- The District of Columbia would lose approximately $191,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors. Maryland would lose approximately $877,000 and Virginia would lose approximately $1.2 million in nutrition assistance for seniors.
- The Greater Washington region will be especially hard hit because our economy is so connected to the federal government. We are home to federal workers, federal contractors and military spending. For example, in Prince George’s, there are at least 80,000 federal employees who could be affected, and thousands of others who work for government contracts. Governor O’Malley (D-MD), Governor McDonnell (R-VA), and DC’s Mayor Gray --on a bi-partisan basis-- have urged the President and Congress to take action to prevent across the board indiscriminate cuts.