CBO – Trusted, Valued but Underfunded
What type of workplace helps people every day, is located right in your community, and is severely underfunded?
It could be an assisted living facility, an addictions support organization, a group home or any other community-based organization (CBO). CBO’s assist our friends, neighbours and family members to become well-functioning, valued, contributing members of our society.
Chances are, if you live in Saskatchewan, you’ve driven, biked or walked by a CBO and didn’t even know it.
If their work is so important, why are they underfunded you may ask? CBO’s are a catch-all within the social service sector. Although they do have basic funding through the government, this sector has been chronically underfunded for many years.
Add the complication that there are different types of CBO’s, which mean there are different sources of funding including, but not limited to, the Ministry of Justice, the Regional Health Authorities and/or the Ministry of Social Services. As well, the fact is that they need to access alternate fundraising efforts or seek other contributions within the not-for-profit sector or charitable domain in order to maintain operations.
Since this is the case, managers of these facilities have to spend an inordinate amount of their time fundraising. These managers should be able to focus solely on improving the programs that clients receive, maintaining and running the facilities themselves and keeping their staff up to date with training.
As a result, it is difficult to recruit and retain staff, keep buildings and equipment maintained and current, and ultimately, it negatively affects the clients/residents that they are working so hard for.
CBO’s don’t receive regular, sustained funding from one common source like the health care sector. Many are granted funding on a year to year basis. Funding source is dependant upon which Ministry that they fall under, for instance, the Ministry of Justice will fund addictions counseling CBOs, because these services keep people out of jail.
CBOs are often the best hope for people in our communities to remain a part of society and not fall through the cracks.
These places are not only a place for people to live or get help when facing tough life challenges, they are workplaces where people work to provide for their families. They deserve to be valued for the work they provide and paid appropriately. Chronic underfunding hurts everyone!