Sudbury non-profit braces for $50,000 funding cut from city

Richard Eberhardt, chair of the board of the Social Planning Council of Sudbury, says the impact on staffing and programs will be devastating if the city cuts its annual grant to the non-profit organization.

Loss of annual grant from city would have devastating impact, says Social Planning Council board chair

Residents of 1960 Paris St. enjoy a holiday event supported by the Social Planning Council of Sudbury. (Submitted by Richard Eberhardt)

Sudbury's Social Planning Council is facing a $50,000 budget cut — and some are worried that the cost to people and programs will be too high.   

The Social Planning Council helps to address poverty and social inquality in Greater Sudbury.

Richard Eberhardt, the chair of the non-profit organization's board, said the city's proposal to cut a $50,000 grant to the organization will have a major impact on the work they do.

He explained that the city usually issues the grant every year, but this year, the funding has been slashed from the city's proposed 2020 budget.

"It would be very hard for us to replace that particular type of funding in the short term, and it would cause us to really fold the operations as we know them now," said Eberhardt.

"It wouldn't necessarily mean that the organization would cease to exist. We haven't gotten that far. But we know that it would have a major impact on our staffing and our programs," he added.

Eberhardt said the $50,000 grant from the city is used to pay for their base operations, and losing it would be devastating.

"A leverage of $50,000, which really fuels [an] over $300,000 annual budget, five staff and lots of community programs, really is dependant upon that initial grant of $50,000 so we can operate as an organization," he explained.

Eberhardt said the Social Planning Council gets funding from other sources for specific community projects, but much of that money can't be spent on operational needs.

That is why the organization depends on the grant from the city.

Some of the Social Planning Council projects include the Flour Mill Community Farm, Fair Food Markets in low-income neighbourhoods, and the Community Emergency Fund.

Eberhardt said his board has reached out to city staff, all the councillors, and the mayor to discuss the proposed cut.

The city's 2020 budget deliberations begin Tuesday.

With files from Angela Gemmill


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