Cole County Commision approves public funding of non-profits
JEFFERSON CITY - Nonprofit organizations in Cole County are receiving money from what some may consider an unusual source: the government.
The Cole County Commission recently approved $45,000 of contracts toward different local nonprofits.
Money will go toward seven different organizations including Central Missouri Foster Care and the Cole County Historical Society.
Some residents are upset because the commission is using taxpayer money to give to what they see as charity organizations.
"I'm not against giving to charity, but I don't know if the government should be the one doing it," Sandra Jones said.
Some of the programs argue they are not being given charity but instead providing a service.
"The fiscal impact to our county for a child re-entering foster care is costly. Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association's services prevent taxpayers from footing the bill for incarceration and homelessness. In addition, CMFCAA provides foster parent training required but not provided directly from the state," DeAnna Alonso, Executive Director at CMFCAA said.
Eastern District Cole County Commissioner Jeff Hoelscher said the seven programs receiving funds all provided services the government was unable to provide itself.
Hoelscher said he wanted to support programs which helped people.
"We are contracting people to do services," Hoelscher said.
Hoelscher admitted when he first arrived on the Commission he had little issue with the program. However, he said giving money to the programs is within its right and does more good than bad. He also claimed almost every county has a version of this type of program to give taxpayer money to nonprofits.
All programs applying for funding must do a presentation before the commissioners explaining their benefits.
Hoelscher said no one has shown up to meetings to protest the program.