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Social Service Agencies Preparing for Budget Cuts

In the new year, many state departments and agencies are preparing to deal with funding cuts that were included in the state’s budget.

Just this week, Governor Tom Corbett announced additional cuts to human services agencies across the state.

Every weekday afternoon, many people gather at the South Side Senior Center in Scranton for a hot meal and some games.

That senior center, and a few others around the city, could possibly face even more state funding cuts than anticipated.

The governor announced this week that there will be more cuts to human services agencies on top of the $300 million cut in this year’s budget.

The South Side Senior Center is run by the United Neighborhood Centers.

“As the county is notified of what the cuts are, then it will trickle down to us. So, we know a lot of our youth programs are going to be affected. Many of our seniors programs most likely are going to be affected as well,” said Mike Hanley of United Neighborhood Centers.

He added the details of the state funding cuts haven’t been released, but many local agencies are preparing for less funding in 2012. Lackawanna County programs, including Head Start and Meals on Wheels, may face major cuts.

“Human services has been looking at cuts in every state budget for the last few years and really, they’re the programs that affect the the most vulnerable people in our community. So, they are really bearing the brunt of this financial crisis at the state level,” Hanley explained.

Hanley said he has already learned that United Neighborhood Centers’ literacy program will be cut. He said more information on how the funding cuts will affect our area will be coming in the next few weeks.

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