State funding cuts likely will be felt in Lawrence’s efforts to help the homeless.
The Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center on Tuesday will ask for permission from city commissioners to eliminate one of four homeless outreach positions that it employs in partnership with the city.
Bert Nash receives $164,000 in city funding to employ four outreach workers who serve as case managers who help the homeless with everything from applying for assistance to getting to out-of-town medical appointments.
“I know this type of news wears on everyone, but this is kind of a scary time,” said David Johnson, chief executive of Bert Nash.
Johnson said he’s recommending the cut in response to a $785,000 reduction in state funding for the 2010 fiscal year. The center announced a variety of cuts in December — including cuts to a program that helps people re-enter the community from a state hospital, and general wage cuts — but Johnson said he decided to cut this program as well because the cost to run it is far exceeding the city grant amount.
The outreach workers provide assistance to about 400 people annually, said Eunice Ruttinger, director of adult services for Bert Nash.
Commissioners meet at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.