A quiet crisis is getting louder in Pa.

     The Pennsylvania State Capitol building.  (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

    The Pennsylvania State Capitol building. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

    Social services nonprofits are trying to increase the pressure on Pennsylvania’s governor and lawmakers to pass a budget after months of constipated debate.

    The quiet crisis among service providers is getting louder as they report cash-flow problems, layoffs, and scaled-back programs due to the halt on their state funding.

    The Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership and Forbes Funds surveyed 43 social service organizations in Southwest Pennsylvania. More than half of them said they would reach their “crisis point” within the next few months.

    “If this situation continues, Pennsylvania is sure to feel an economic and reputational impact on top of the great human impact we’re already seeing today,” said Forbes Funds President Kate Dewey in a written statement on Monday.

    The governor had said he wants the state to repay smaller nonprofits for borrowing costs incurred during the budget stalemate. But one association said few of its members would qualify for reimbursement – either because they aren’t large enough, or because they receive less than 50 percent of their funding from the state.

    Richard Edley, head of the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association, said many individual nonprofits aren’t speaking up about their cash flow problems because they don’t want to alarm their clients and employees.

    “They’ll go to insurers, they go to utilities and say, ‘Can we suspend payments?’ They go to banks trying desperately to get additional loans. They take out personal loans. They forgo salary. They do whatever they can,” said Edley.

    “The effect of that is,” he added, “a legislator or someone out in the public can say, ‘Well you see, no one’s closing programs, things are OK.’ When, in fact, they really are dire.”

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