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HHHS opens funding opportunities for island non-profit human services agencies

Health Housing and Human Services (HHHS) is now accepting funding requests from nonprofit agencies that provide essential services on Bainbridge Island.

HHHS implements the city's Human Services Element of the comprehensive plan and disseminates allocated tax dollars to service organizations such as Bainbridge Youth Services, Helpline House and the Housing Resources Board.

In 2009, 10 organizations received from $1,341 to $102,812 to provide youth services, daycare, volunteer and transportation services, support to families in crisis, counseling, and financial assistance.

"The organizations that we fund provide direct human services to the community," said HHHS Executive Director Jan Lambert. "On the whole, the city funding accounts for approximately 10 percent of all agencies overall funding."

Each organizations must be a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) tax-qualified organizations seeking funding for the provision of health, housing and/or human services on Bainbridge Island that can document one year of providing services.

Lambert said the demand for services has been growing, making it all the more necessary for organizations to receive taxpayer-supported funds.

"The demand and use for these services are up," she said, "and at the same time the ability to access dollars is more challenging."

Funding for HHHS was cut this year in response to the city's financial crisis. In 2008, HHHS received $300,095 to allocate to organizations, compared to $285,192 in 2009. It is not known how much money will be allocated to HHHS in 2010.

"We're actually in the process of getting guidance on what to expect with the 2010 budget, but we don't have any answers," Lambert said.

Meanwhile, HHHS is accepting all applications while also coordinating among the service organizations to lower overhead by increased collaboration and efficiency.

"It's important that we make the most effective use of the funding that is available," Lambert said. "We are working closely with the agencies... to be as effective and efficient as possible."

Applications (due by 4 p.m. May 27) are now available now at City Hall and online at www.bihhhs.org. For information on eligibility for funding, Contact Lambert at 842-9335 or jlambert@bihhhs.org.

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