Trapped in bureaucratic red tape, a Washington D.C. nonprofit is in financial trouble through no fault of its own, and had to shut the doors of a popular afterschool program in Jan. 2011. What's at stake? A safe place to go after school for some of the District's neediest children.
After running a day camp program in D.C.'s Ward 8 this summer where needy kids were mentored, fed and protected from harm, nonprofit City Gate never received the $60,000 payment they were promised through a D.C. grant from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), founder Rev. Lynn Bergfalk said. Not only this; the OSSE also owes $15,000 more for the afterschool program City Gate ran in fall of 2010.
Despite assuring City Gate that money for the fall program would come, OSSE hasn't paid. So City Gate had to shut the doors of its popular Merrick Center afterschool program in southeast D.C. during the first week of January.
Even though the city agrees that City Gate has provided valuable services to children, they still have not been paid. This lack of payment will hurt City Gate's ability to deliver valuable services to needy residents of Ward 7 and Ward 8.
It's time to fight back against needless red tape. Leaders at D.C.'s OSSE should ensure that City Gate is paid for the afterschool programs they provided. Send a letter to D.C. leaders telling them not to punish City Gate for giving children a safe place to go after school.
Photo credit: Steven Depolo via Flickr
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