Mayor’s tight budget proposal includes grants to help most needy

Grants to 35 social service agencies are part of Mayor Linda Gorton’s budget proposal now under consideration by the Urban County Council.

“My team has put together a very tight budget. We had to make careful cuts to balance it,” Gorton said. “But we did not cut these grants. This is a compassionate city that recognizes the importance of helping the citizens who most need our help. That’s what these grants do.”

With Council approval, $3 million in “Extended Social Resource Grants” will be awarded to  agencies that work in four priority areas: Community Wellness and Safety ($1.2 million); Childhood and Youth Development ($600,000); Food Insecurity and Nutritional Access ($450,000); and Overnight Emergency Shelter ($750,000).

Eight agencies will get funding for the first time.

The five agencies receiving top ratings for their proposals were AVOL; Chrysalis House; Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Bluegrass; Seedleaf; and Greenhouse 17.

Social Services Commissioner Chris Ford said grant winners were recommended after an exhaustive examination of 88 requests for a total of $7.28 million.

“These grants are key local investments for empowering families and strengthening communities,” Ford said.  “Lexington’s collaborative network of non-profit service providers are proven and capable partners in our work.”

In recent years, the city has almost doubled funding for these grants as federal and state governments have cut back. A complete list of the funding proposal is attached.