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Reviewing priorities and funding levels for city human services

Cincinnati Council could soon approve a plan to spend more than $750,000 on human services programs through January of next year.  

That money will go to current city priorities including emergency needs of families and individuals, programs to promote self-sufficiency and to reduce violent behavior.  

But Council Member Yvette Simpson says Council will be reviewing the priorities between now and June.

“We want to go through a very intentional, deliberative process to make sure that we’re leveraging again not just the dollars that are here but other dollars,” Simpson said.  “And that we have some real goals, objectives and plans to increase the funding to make significant impact in human services.”

Many years ago the city set aside 1.5 percent of the city's general fund budget for human services funding.  That number has consistently drifted lower recently because of city deficits. Some council members want to create a plan to increase the funding back to 1.5 percent over a period of several years.

“You know I would like for us to get back to one percent in the next four years, and back to 1.5 percent in the next 8 years,” said council member Chris Seelbach.  “The fact that we’re just maintaining is not good enough for me.  But I think this year that’s what we’re going to be fighting for, to make sure that not a single dollar is cut from our current human services funding with a goal of increasing that funding as the years come.”

The United Way of Greater Cincinnati will continue to administer the city's funds for human services programs.