Share This Page

Counseling program faces funding loss

| Sunday, May 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A counseling program for troubled teenagers and college students in Morgantown is facing the possible loss of a major funding source.

The Dominion Post reported on Saturday that the Monongalia County Board of Education will decide soon whether to continue contributing $39,000 a year to the Morgantown Area Youth Services Project. The board has helped fund the project since it began in 1996.

The city of Morgantown is ending its $10,000 annual appropriation because of its tight budget.

“We just don't have the discretionary income,” City Manager Jeff Mikorski said.

Project founder Danny Trejo said the project once had a budget of about $200,000 but is operating on about half that amount after expiration of some long-term grants. Three of the project's seven employees left when their pay was cut by 20 percent, and Trejo said the at-risk counselor's position may have to be eliminated if the education board ends its support.

“We understand funding considerations, but we do want to appeal the board's decision,” said Trejo, 61. “We think we're doing good work.”

Some youths served by the project have alcohol, drug or truancy problems.

“Or, maybe it's a kid who's just really behind in his work,” Trejo said. “Some of the kids we see have rough backgrounds. We used to see single-parent families where the father left. Now, we're seeing families where the mother left.”

For now, the project can count on funding it receives from other sources, including an annual $23,000 outlay from the United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties. $10,000 comes from the Monongalia County Commission, which provides phone lines, and the Morgantown North Rotary Club kicks in $4,600 a year.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.