While the closure of non-profit social service organizations is relatively uncommon, when it occurs it can disrupt the lives of thousands. In 2012, the world-famous Hull House in Chicago closed for financial reasons, leaving thousands of children and their families without services, at least temporarily. This past January, FEGS Health and Human Services, one of New York City’s largest social service agencies, closed suddenly for financial reasons. Again, thousands were affected.
Even when financial struggles are not serious enough to cause closures, they can disrupt the delivery of services and get in the way of good program planning. For example, programs that serve adolescents who are disconnected from school, family and work—and therefore vulnerable to multiple risks in their communities—often rely upon the development of strong relationships between staff members and youth as a way of reaching young people. When financial challenges result in lay-offs, relationships are disrupted, threatening young people’s stability.
In the United States non-profit organizations provide critical developmental and other support to millions of American families and their children. The sustainability of these organizations is important to all communities across the country. Read More