Council recommends funding allocations for local nonprofits
San Marcos City Council discussed and voted in favor of the allocation of $550,000 of the Human Services Grant Fund from the city’s general fund and $100,000 from American Rescue Plant Act funds to different nonprofit organizations in town at the regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday. Various organizations had applied for specific amounts of funding and the Human Services Advisory board evaluated the groups across different criteria, including the city’s need for the services it provides, and gave recommendations on how much to allocate to each of the groups.
San Marcos Housing and Community Development Manager Carol Griffith said the Human Services Advisory Board is appointed by the city council to make the annual decisions regarding the Human Services Grant Fund and its allocation. The board received 34 applications for this year’s funding. Griffith said this year scoring was added to assist the board in the decision, and the evaluation criteria were: community need and justification, implementation, impact and cost effectiveness, community support and council priorities.
Griffith said the groups that received high scores were Prevent-A-Litter for spay/neuter services– board recommended $45,000 allocation, Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center for Sexual Assault Program—board recommended $25,000 allocation, Hays Caldwell Women’s Center for transitional housing–board recommended $30,000 allocation, Community Action for Meals on Wheels Program—board recommended $15,000 allocation, Hays Count Child Protective Board– board recommended $25,000 allocation, Nosotros La Gente for the Coats Program–board recommended $5,000 allocation, and Nosotros La Gente for a shoe drive— board recommended $10,000 allocation.
Griffith said the groups that received medium- high scores were School Fuel for the weekend food program–board recommended $34,500 allocation, Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center for the Child Abuse Program– board recommended $25,000 allocation, Hays County Food Bank for food distribution—board recommended $80,000 allocation, the Greater San Marcos Youth Council for the children’s shelter–board recommended $15,000 allocation, the Greater San Marcos Youth Council for the Family and Youth Success Program–board recommended $30,000 allocation, Court Appointed Special Advocates for foster children assistance– board recommended $35,000 allocation, Southside for emergency services, shelter and case management–board recommended $30,000 allocation, and Community Action of Central Texas for San Marcos Senior Citizen Center–board recommended $20,000 allocation.
“Hays County Food Bank is recommended to receive the highest allocation of any agency in part because the board noted how many agencies rely on them to provide food for their programs,” Griffith said. “They’re a really integrated partner in this community.”
There were additional medium and low scoring agencies that received funding as well.
San Marcos City Council Member Matthew Mendoza made a motion to reduce the amount going to Any Baby Can by $5,000 and allocate that to the San Marcos Youth Service Bureau. He said he preferred to allocate the money to a San Marcos based nonprofit and Any Baby Can is based out of Austin.
San Marcos City Council Member Alyssa Garza said the last time this was brought up, she wasn’t happy with the discussion. She said she was really happy with the board presentation from Tuesday’s meeting calling it thorough. She voted against the item citing a desire to maintain the allocation amounts recommended by the board.
“I actually learned a lot about our neighbors and the different nonprofits that were applying by tuning in on the replay,” Garza said. “It was really enlightening.”
The city council voted to approve the motion four to zero with one absent, one abstained and one dissenting vote.