YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. Federal funding and funding from community sponsors and donors help YWCA focus on programs that address specific areas of interest such as gender-based violence, child care, housing and community services, education, health care, civil rights, and racial justice.
On June 15th, Y Women across the nation will assemble in the country’s capital in anticipation of Capitol Hill Day. Their goal is to advocate for a strong and inclusive federal budget with policies that work toward the well-being of all citizens. Strategies to implement the congressional budget proposal of 2018 are already underway, and many of the president’s proposed cuts directly and detrimentally affect scopes related to YWCA’s mission impact, policy priorities, and community services. Outlined below are some of the programs that would be affected should the proposed changes be implemented:
- The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) received $481.5M in FY2017. The proposed budget cuts would deny VAWA $1.5M, and $445M would come from the Victims of Crime Act Crime Victims Fund (VOCA). Although current funding levels for gender-based violence services are stable, continuing funding at this level will leave thousands of victims without access to services as the cost of services and the associated care rises with inflation.
- VOCA received over $3B in FY2017. The proposed budget cuts would deny this program $42M. $1.3B of the FY2017 money has been “permanently reduced” and relocated to other parts of the federal budget. There is additional concern about funding from VOCA being used to assist VAWA.
- The Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) received $2.856B in FY2017. The proposed budget cuts would deny this program $950M. The CCDBG is crucial in helping low-income families, families receiving public assistance, and families transitioning away from public assistance to obtain childcare. With 7 in 10 mothers employed outside the home and quality child care in Spokane costing on average $10,000 a year, the loss of this grant’s funding would see consequences such as a decline in parental employment (for single mothers especially) continuity of child care, and quality of child care.
- The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) received $2.85B in FY2017. The proposed budget cuts would completely eliminate this program, denying thousands of dependant families access to owner-occupied rehabilitation, homeownership, and other household activities. The CDBG also funds improvements to public services such as transportation services, neighborhood facilities, senior centers, and more. The removal of funds to support this grant means dependant communities will no longer be able to afford opportunities for self-sustainability or economic expansion.
- The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) received $742M in FY2017. The proposed budget cuts would completely eliminate this program, consisting of over a thousand local agencies that create, organize, and implement programs and services to lesson poverty in communities, address the needs of low-income individuals–such as the elderly, immigrants, and the homeless–and provide employment education services, housing, nutrition, emergency services, and health.
- The Social Services and Block Grant (SSBG) received $1.7B in FY2017. The proposed budget cuts would completely eliminating this program. About 28 million people–half of them children–receive services that are funded in part or in whole by SSBG. These services are specific to the populations they serve, funding programs that encourage and educate on self-sufficiency, protect children and adults from neglect, and help individuals unable to care for themselves remain in their homes or find alternative care solutions.
- 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) received $1.164B in FY2017. The proposed budget cuts would completely eliminate this program. 21st CCLC consists of over 11,500 centers that provide academic, artistic, and cultural enrichment opportunities for high-poverty, low-income communities. During the 2014-2015 academic school year, 21st CCLC served over 1.8 million people, of which 48.2% were female.
- Federal Subsidized Loans in Higher Education is due to be eliminated in the proposed budget cuts of FY2018. The Office of Management and Budget states that eliminating subsidized loans would shift $39B in costs to students over the next decade. Over 6 million students borrowed more than $23B in subsidized loans in the 2015-2016 academic year.
- Medicaid received $376.6B in FY2017. The proposed budget cuts would eliminate $610B over the next 10 years, changing how Medicaid is financed and ending the program we recognize today. Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), coupled with additional Medicaid cuts, would cut Medicaid funding by half by 2027, causing tens of millions of people to love coverage; currently, 33 million women and girls get their health care coverage from Medicaid.
- Planned Parenthood received $553.4M in FY2015 (amount for FY2017 not provided). The proposed budget cuts would permanently prohibit Planned Parenthood from participating in any programs funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The Congressional Budget Office estimates that restricting Planned Parenthood from receiving funds from DHHS for only one year would result in 15% of low-income individuals without other access to health care losing their health care; 2.5M individuals could lose access to care.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) received $78.4B in FY2017. The proposed budget cuts would cut $193B (over 25%) over the next 10 years, and includes major structural and eligibility changes. Last year, SNAP served over 44.2M people on average each month. In 2015, women made up 62% of non-elderly SNAP recipients, while 64% were elderly recipients. Along with providing nutrition assistance to recipients, SNAP also offers economic benefits to support communities.
These are only a few of the vital programs YWCA depends on that are funded by the federal budget. We do our absolute best to ensure that all who walk through our doors are cared for: victims of domestic violence who seek safe shelter and counseling to start new lives; providing women with clothing, toiletries, and other necessities in order to remain confident and dignified while achieving their goals; or children in early education and afterschool child care learning in safe environments, enabling their mothers to be employed and support their families.
This is what YWCA does every year, cutting across all economic, racial, ethnic, education, and age barriers to save thousands of lives, and also save millions of taxpayers’ dollars by providing prevention programs through a combination of support from our local communities and the federal government.We need your help in protecting the programs and funding streams that are lifelines to the districts we serve. We encourage you to join our mission by sharing YWCA’s blogs and social media posts, contacting your legislator(s), writing your own posts, and calling on others to get involved.
Together, our collective voice on these important issues will be louder–and it will be heard.