Garfield County cuts back on human services grants

John Colson
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Garfield County will be handing out nearly $470,000 in human services grants next year, a sum well below the amount requested by area organizations and below the amount disbursed this year.

According to Kay Vasilakis, a member of the Human Services Grants Commission, the body this year received 43 applications for grants totaling $875,489.

The commission, however, had only $469,164 to work with, so “there were many requests that only received partial grant amounts,” said Commissioner Tresi Houpt, who also sits on the grants commission.

“Everything’s spent,” said Vasilakis, responding to a question from commissioners.

Garfield County annually parcels out money to nonprofit organizations that serve a variety of human services needs.

The largest single request for 2011 came from Mountain Valley Developmental Services – MVDS provides work and some housing for developmentally challenged individuals – which asked for $75,000. The grant to MVDS was also the largest awarded on the list at $45,500.

Other recipients, for the most part, also received less than requested, such as Habitat for Humanity, which asked for $10,000 and got $3,500, and Sopris Therapy Services, which asked for $25,000 and received $16,500.

But some got just what they requested, such as the Yampah Teen Parent Program, which asked for and got $7,500, and CMC Literacy Outreach, which requested and received $20,000.

The list of grant requests included three preschools – Blue Lake, Holy Cross and Summit – which the county funded directly out of a discretionary fund of approximately $1 million.

But “there are other daycare facilities that need help, too,” County Manager Ed Green said.

So, at Green’s suggestion, there will be a special $50,000 grant fund established next year to take care of these and other preschools. That fund will be taken from the county’s discretionary fund as well.

For more information about the Human Services grants for 2011, contact Garfield County at 945-1377.