DHS Cutting Costs By Cutting Programs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/12/04

DHS Cutting Costs By Cutting Programs

If you ask the students and the teachers at the Family's First Resource Center, they'll say the daily tutoring program is a success.

"This first semester they have come up a grade level in their grades," Brandy Burch, an employee at Families First Resource Center said.

"Like some came in with Cs. And now they're up to Bs, and we're trying to pull them up to As."

But progress for these 50 children will soon come to a halt. This center run by DHS will shut down in two weeks in order to save an over budget state money.

"My first reaction was I can't believe they're cutting all of these services that are desperately needed in the community," Burch said.

Tutoring is only one of the services the community will lose when the Families First Resource Center closes its doors. Sherland McMillen teaches troubled parents the skills a judge say they must have to care for their children.

"And by going through this parenting program and successfully completing it, they are able to get their children back quite often," McMillen said.

The parenting program is the only one of its kind in Jackson County, and there few alternatives for many of the programs the resource center offers.

"It's going to be bad, but it's just something that I guess we're going to have to deal with as a community," Burch said.

The 30 resource centers around the state employ 238 people, who will lose their jobs when the centers close. The head of the DHS says closing the centers will save almost $4,000,000.

By: Claire Nelson

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