Local non-profit reopens after financial issues - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Local non-profit reopens after financial issues

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A non-profit helping thousands of families heat their home during the winter is back open after suddenly closing late last week.

The Community Action Agency of New Haven had shut its doors on Friday, when it suddenly found it wouldn’t make payroll.

According to the Community Action Agency, its bank withdrew funds in order to pay down an outstanding debt, leaving them with basically nothing.

“Much like clients, we missed a 30-day period where we couldn’t pay the amount they wanted,” said Amos Smith, president and CEO of the Community Action Agency of New Haven.

The organization helps with fuel assistance, homelessness, and social service issues in New Haven, and four neighboring towns.

He says because it was in default, the bank, then withdrew a line of credit the non-profit had, leaving it with nothing.

“The banking commissioner told the bank they had to put the money back, especially since it was federal money and it was targeted for a specific purpose,” Smith said.

To help out, the city of New Haven had expedited $45,000 as part of its contracts with the non-profit.

It opened back up on Monday, after getting some emergency funding, but they’ve had to scale back on staff.

He says right now they have just 11 people working, instead of the 42 usually employed this time of year.

Smith added that for non-profits dealing with tight budgets at the state and local level, it's making their jobs that much tougher.

“We don’t have a reserve account, because anything we would have to put in reserve, has been going to pay the debt,” Smith said.

On Monday morning, the doors to the community action agency of new haven were back open, with clients waiting in the lobby.

While the Community Action Agency works to figure out how it goes forward making sure it has the cash flow it needs, clients are happy they’re back.

“For people like myself that do work, but not able especially during the winter time able to pull the full amount, they’re able to help you out with oil, gas, and lights, it’s just really good,” said Shirley Massey, of New Haven.

Smith says the agency’s hope is that they hope is that they can work through the winter fuel season and go from there, hoping to scale back up with staffing.

Though he says, the board will be looking at changes and more fundraising going forward.

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