Manitoulin Family Resources loses Help Centre coordinator position

Manitoulin Family Resources

Funding for program coordiantor comes to an end

MINDEMOYA—Due to funding cuts, one position has come to an end while a second program’s hours have been filled internally by staff, as Manitoulin Family Resources (MFR) has seen a reduction in funding provided for two of its programs.

“Yes, the Help Centre program coordinator position, previously held by Nancy McDermid, has come to a close as a result of changes to funding structure,” said Marnie Hall-Brown, executive director of MFR, in an interview with the Recorder on Monday. “We’ve had our funding reduced from what we previously received for the Help Centre program coordinator’s position. That funding was through the United Way of Sudbury-Nipissing and had been approved for two years, ending at the end

of March.”

Ms. Hall-Brown explained, “they (United Way) had realigned their funding disbursements, their priority where funding was going to go. We actually have a funding reduction that is affecting two programs, Nancy’s position and the Violence Against Women Prevention Program. Both the Help Centre and Violence Against Women Prevention have experienced the loss because of the realignments.”

“Most recently we had a contract for the Help Centre for two years of funding and the Violence Against Women Prevention Program for one year,” continued Ms. Hall-Brown. “Due to changes in the application process we were not eligible to apply for funding through the same vein as in previous years.”

However, Ms. Hall-Brown said, “there is still a possibility for funding with a list of grant opportunities for outlying areas, and we are currently in the process of applying for funding through them. So basically, we are currently between the two stages of some possible funding, and we have undertaken some internal restructuring to make up for that loss.”

“Because the funding reductions affected both programs we are working with the staff options that we have, we have submitted in the areas that we now qualify for, and the shaping of positions will depend on funding eligibility for the future. It is difficult to structure until we know what funding is obtained,” said Ms. Hall-Brown. “The United Way has been very supportive of us within this region and we are structuring things as much as possible so that front-line staff will be the last of any cuts. Both the VAW and Help Centre programs are always looking to find other funding opportunities and in the process of applying for grants to the United Way.”

“The grants were announced April 18 and the process is closing now. Funding ended at the end of March,” said Ms. Hall-Brown. She explained the changes have meant a change in staff assignment hours, but the services are still being provided 24/7. “We have not had to make changes in hours of operating and staff components and because we have an amazing group of volunteers it will not affect the hours of the Help Centre.”