The clock is ticking for the continued operation of the North Lambton Social Services Centre in Forest. The King Street office, which houses 16 various agencies, will close its doors by March 31st if alternate funding is not found.
Board Chair Andrew Bolter is quoted as saying they’ve exhausted their search.
Bolter is still hoping a “white knight” will come forward and provide the $50,000 needed every year to keep the doors open.
A change in eligibility criteria saw the previous source, the United Way, stop its funding last year.
Pamela Bodkin, regional United Way Community Investment and Finance Director, says she spoke with the North Lambton Social Services Centre back in 2009 to let them know that under their new model, "they would quite likely not fit the type of program we would fund."
Bodkin said when asked why the centre no longer meets the eligibility requirements that it's because it's considered to be a middle-management program and as such doesn't meet the direct impact criteria.
Bodkin pointed out, however, that although funding for the centre has been stopped under the new criteria, the United Way's commitment to that community has increased under their new model.
"All dollars were to go to support direct program services that have a direct impact on the client," she said.
Instead of contributing $21,765 to the North Lambton Social Services Centre, the United Way will contribute $40,000 annually toward the community with three new direct impact programs. Initially, $30,000 was pledged under the new model, but that commitment was increased by the United Way Board of Directors to ensure that the funding would be able to meet its targeted goals.
Due to the changes in eligibility, other agencies at risk of losing funding include the Family Counseling Centre, the Sexual Assault Survivors Centre, Lambton Elderly Outreach, and Rebound.