Wichita County non-profits react to possible budget cuts

Helen Farabee
Helen Farabee

WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - Monday Newschannel 6 brought you a story about Wichita County Commissioners considering budget cuts that might impact some non-profits.

Today we reached out to two of them, Child Advocates of Red River, also known as CASA, and Helen Farabee.

Ways to make up the potential difference would vary depending on the non-profit.

Both groups said fundraising is one way to do that, but it is difficult to make up for money that would be lost from the county.

"Every dollar that we have to chase is one more dollar that takes time away from us serving our children," Hannah Fryer, Program Director of CASA said. "That's a huge challenge that our agency faces when it comes to budget cuts."

Last year Wichita County gave $13,000 to CASA, the organization that serves displaced children.

This year, the group asked commissioners for $18,000, but the county only proposed $7,000.

Fryer said if that is all the money they get, they will have to ramp up efforts with the community for more volunteers and donations.

"They're the way that we meet the needs of our children and fulfill our mission," she said. "We would love to see our community members continually engage with us and become the fierce advocates our children deserve."

Helen Farabee, a mental health organization, is another non-profit that relies on county funds.

Last year they received just over $133,000.

Executive Director, Roddy Atkins, said if they face financial cuts, they won't let it change what they do.

"If they end up having to cut us, we will work with the resources that we have," Atkins said. "Continue to be a partner and move forward. And what you hope for is a better day."

Fryer said CASA will continue to work with commissioners.

"We hope we can find a collaborative solution with our county commissioners," Fryer said. "We want our children to know that we are all working together to make sure their needs are being met."

Atkins said it is just part of life.

"We all face this," he said. "The county budget, our budget, our personal budgets are all subject to us having to make sacrifices here and there in the tough days. And then rebounding when the days are a little bit better."

Fryer said based on CASA's projections, they saved the county $765,000 last year in court cases.

She also added they are doing their best to save the county money by preventing future incarceration.

Atkins said in Helen Farabee's budget hearing with the county, they asked for an additional $10,000.

He said commissioners seemed receptive to the idea, stating all the work they do for Wichita County.

Stay with Newschannel 6 as we continue to follow this developing story.

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