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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Pinellas County policy change could mean more money for some non-profits, less for others



Pinellas County will give roughly $550,000 to social service agencies next year, but officials plan to change how they prioritize which organizations get help.

Every year, the county sets aside money to give to groups that help the homeless and feed the elderly. But that amount, divided among 15 organizations last year, often comes in grants that are about $30,000, often less than 1 percent of the organizations' budgets.

"We need to distribute these resources so we have the greatest impact," said Gwendolyn Warren, director of the county's Health and Human Services Department. "And it might not be doling out $30,000 awards."

Commissioners agreed to give Warren and her staff more control over which groups receive funding, which currently goes to organizations such as The Salvation Army of St. Petersburg and Religious Community Services. When considering which groups to fund next year, Warren said she might look at organizations that provide housing for homeless families, which is in short supply in Pinellas, and deliver meals to low-income seniors.

That could mean more money for groups focusing on these issues and less for others.

Click here for a full report on the county's change. The United Way of Tampa Bay has tried something similar.

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 2:52pm]


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