This week, the Tom Green County Commissioners’ Court discussed the fate of the Arc of San Angelo’s financial situation at their meeting. Last week, Arc of San Angelo Director Lettitia McPherson told the commissioners about Arc’s need for funding and the organization's role in the community. However, this time, County Judge Steve Floyd was present to back up the Arc’s case.
The Arc of San Angelo is a branch of a national organization focused on advocating for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Guardianship Alliance, which falls under the umbrella of the Arc, works with the county to advocate for those who cannot take care of themselves.
Floyd told the court about how Lettitia McPherson, the director of the Arc of San Angelo, has discussed what the needs of the Arc are and the new requirements for guardianship. According to Floyd, the Arc is “struggling to get through this fiscal year.” Floyd also explained how state laws that were passed at the end of last year will allow for less restrictive guardianships in some cases.
“With these new mandates, [guardianships] will be much, much better,” Floyd said. “When you create a full guardianship, it puts it into our judicial system, [which] requires annual reports. There’s a host of other less restrictive alternatives to take care of those who are needing help. That’s what this process is for, is to determine that and get them the help they need, [depending on] what their situation is.”
Floyd also discussed the $10,000 match grant that the Arc received from the Carl C. Anderson, Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation last week. In other words, the Foundation will match every dollar the Arc receives with a dollar up to $10,000. Floyd moved for the county to match the grant themselves. Floyd has also submitted a line item in the budget for 2017 to assist the Arc.
The money for the match grant will come out of the county’s contingency fund. However, Floyd said the county has about $186,000 left in the fund, and the county only has two months left in the fiscal year, “so I don’t think we’re in the danger zone.”
Floyd mentioned how former County Judge Mike Brown “had his fingerprints” in the guardianship program.
“Years ago in 1999, when Judge Brown had that [county judge] position, we developed the program that would meet the needs for those individuals who did not have family or friends to serve,” McPherson said. “The county has supported that program every year, and I was there to talk to them about what we do and tell them the story about how we improve [the clients’] lives.”
After the County Judge explained to Commissioners’ Court the importance of the Arc and what the County’s participation would entail, the commissioners unanimously agreed to fund the Arc’s match grant in full.