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West Valley City Journal

Multiple Nonprofits Express Gratitude at City Council

Jul 15, 2016 09:17AM ● By Bryan Scott

Nonprofit organizations shared their heartfelt thanks to the Community Development Block Grant Committee for recommending their organizations receive funding at West Valley City Hall on May 17. – Travis Barton

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

It may not be Thanksgiving, but plenty of gratitude was shared at City Hall on May 17.

West Valley City Council approved the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) budget, which shows the recommended projects for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, during its city council meeting on May 17 at City Hall.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Development gives grant funds to West Valley City each year through the CDBG program typically directing those funds to housing, economic development, infrastructure improvements, public facilities and public service. The CDBG makes recommendations and the city council approves.

Grant money for the coming 2016-2017 fiscal year were the highest West Valley City has ever received at $1,279,710 and the CDBG committee, made up of seven members, recommended 25 different organizations to receive the allocated funds.

Layne Morris of the CDBG committee said the recession in previous years really diminished the number of organizations who approached the city but those numbers are increasing again.

“One of our jobs on this committee is to encourage that capacity building across the spectrum of those services,” Morris said. “We’re always looking for new agencies who are trying to get started up and we think they have a reasonable chance.”

Agencies present their projects and programs to the committee who goes through an extensive process of hearing the presentations, interviewing the agencies, tracking past performances and meeting to discuss funding requests.

During the city council meeting on May 17 where the council voted unanimously to accept the resolution, 10 different entities conveyed how much they appreciated the recommendations.

One of those agencies is the Family Support Center where they offer crisis nursery care, mental health treatment and self-sufficiency housing for homeless mother among other things.

Barbara Stallone, from the Family Support Center, told the council a story about a six-year-old boy who was picked up from the Crisis Nursery.

“He ran to his mom and he wrapped his arms around her legs and said ‘Mommy I love it here, the pillows don’t have bad dreams,” Stallone said.  

Stallone said the Crisis Nursery in West Valley City is their busiest.

“We’re very very grateful that the safety of our children is one of the things you’re willing to support through the CDBG funding,” Stallone said.

Nancy Basinger, CEO of Big Brother Big Sisters of Utah (BBBSU), said she was grateful to the members of the committee who went through all the proposals that they received and picked them. BBBSU provides children and teenagers who want mentors with volunteer adults to fulfill that role.

Basinger said 30 of their mentors come from West Valley City.

“We are so appreciative of our relationship and the recommendation for funding,” Basinger said to the city council.

The Community Services Division of the West Valley City Police Department was also one of the agencies receiving funding as they have the previous few years. Lieutenant Bill Merit, grants manager for the department, said until that night he had never realized the impact of this funding.

“In listening to the good that this money has done for so many different entities, I’m wholly impressed,” Merit said. “I always knew it wasn’t just the police department who received it but I didn’t know who all did, what all it did or who all it blessed.”

Merit said he thinks it’s amazing the distribution of this money so these nonprofit organizations can offer the services they do.

Among those organizations included the Legal Aide Society, the Road Home Shelter, the Refugee and Immigrant Center and the women in jeopardy program at the YWCA.