Marin Community Foundation Shifts Funding to Address Safety-Net Gaps

In response to cutbacks in state funding, the Marin Community Foundation in Novato, California, has decided to shift between $1 million and $2 million from its environmental and climate change work to address gaps in the regional safety net, the Marin Independent Journal reports.

Last month, Governor Jerry Brown signed off on a budget that eliminated state funding of adult day health care, while earlier this week he vetoed a bill that would have provided $85 million in services for the neediest seniors. In response, MCF decided to maximize its support of organizations like the Marin Children's Health Initiative, which provides health coverage for 1,650 uninsured children; Novato-based Lifelong Medical Care, which provides adult day care to fifty seniors in the county; and 10,000 Degrees (formerly the Marin Education Fund), which provides educational scholarships to Marin youth.

While some environmental programs at the foundation will see their funding eliminated, the foundation will honor its existing environmental funding commitments, many of which extend into the spring of 2012. However, the foundation has indicated that it will not be able to sustain current levels of investment beyond that. Indeed, as part of the shift in funding, the foundation will eliminate its environment program director position.

MCF president and CEO Tom Peters said the cuts will likely affect such projects as the installation of photovoltaic systems in local schools, replacement of traditional Marin street lights with light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures, and installation of electric vehicle charging stations. "We're obviously not in a position to make up for the enormous cuts that are already occurring at state and federal levels," said Peters. "But there are some vulnerable populations that we want to help as much as we can."

Richard Halstead. "Marin Community Foundation Shifting Support From Environment to Safety-Net Services." Marin Independent Journal 07/26/2011.