Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio Could Have to Cut Services if They Lose Millions of Dollars in Government Funding!

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio announced Thursday that it could cut services and clubs after losing approximately $3 million, mostly from federal funding. The 49 Boys and Girls Clubs in Northeast Ohio provide free, adult-supervised after-school programs and meals to thousands of kids ages 6 to 18, many of whom come from financially underprivileged communities.

“Do you have the capacity to now pay for out-of-school-time care for your child or children?” said Allen Smith, the CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio. “I think this is really going to be challenging for some families to overcome.”

According to Smith, $2.5 million was not renewed from the regularly provided federal program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, known as TANF. Local districts that provided funding to the clubs also cut $500,000.

If the clubs can’t make up for the lost federal dollars, cuts could be made for the 2024-2025 school year, he said. “We are a viable alternative with a proven program and a recognizable brand. Parents and families and kids, they trust us,” Smith said. “To now have to go out and pay for private care, a lot of families don’t have the capacity or ability to do that.”

Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio Could Have to Cut Services if They Lose Millions of Dollars in Government Funding

TANF regularly provided funding to the Ohio Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, a network of all the Boys and Girls Club chapters in Ohio. The alliance distributed the TANF dollars to the state’s chapters, with the Northeast Ohio chapter getting the largest cut.

The cuts will affect chapters statewide because TANF cut all of its funding to the Ohio Alliance. “We had no idea the federal dollars were not going to be renewed. TANF has been around for years,” Smith said. “It appears as if it was not made a priority, and consequently, those dollars were lost.”

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Smith said he couldn’t pinpoint yet where service cuts would be made, but the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the Lorain City Schools are the local school districts most likely to be affected. He hopes to supplement the losses with grants, partnerships, and donations.

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