Pa.'s budget stalemate frays its social safety net

August 13, 2009 7:31:36 AM PDT
Scores of nonprofit agencies are laying off workers, taking out loans and cutting back to survive without billions of state taxpayer dollars for social services for the poor. Pennsylvania's six-week-old budget stalemate has turned off the spigot that normally keeps the money flowing.

Many nonprofit and local government officials fear that another month without action to free up the money will irrevocably tear the state's safety net for tens of thousands of people.

For now, dollars are drying up for everything from day care for children of the working poor to people who desperately need mental health counseling.

South Central Community Action Program plans to close Aug. 22. It provides health screenings for pregnant women, food pantries, homeless shelters and more across Franklin and Adams counties.

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