In 1991, the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners created the Human Services Advisory Board (HSAB). The HSAB reviews applications from not-for-profit organizations that provide needed health and social services for the citizens of Monroe County and then makes funding recommendations to the County Commission.
In the Fiscal Year 2018 proposed budget, HSAB has recommended 26 non-profit agencies in the Keys receive a combined funding of $2 million – the same amount that was allocated this fiscal year for HSAB. The Board of County Commissioners reviews the recommendations and makes decisions on HSAB funding during the budget process. All HSAB funding is paid as reimbursements.
The County’s next special budget meeting is Tuesday, July 25, at 10 a.m. at the Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman Avenue, in Key West.
The proposed $2 million funding is .44 percent of the total proposed County budget of $455 million and 3.25 percent of the $61.5 million General Fund budget, which is supported by property taxes.
Over the past 26 years, community-based agencies have used the HSAB funding to help thousands of Keys citizens, young and old. These organizations also have been able to use the funds as leverage to obtain outside funding through state, federal and private grants.
“This is probably one of the most helpful things we do for the County with our tax dollars,” said Monroe County Commissioner Sylvia Murphy, who served on the Human Services Advisory Board for many years. “We are one of the few counties in Florida that support our non-profits in this manner. It not only allows the non-profits to take care of our citizens who need help, short term or long term, but it also allows the non-profits to leverage the funding for tens of thousands of more dollars in outside grants.
“And, when we help those in our community, it makes Monroe County a better place to live for all of us.”
For FY 2018, service providers included in their applications how they plan to use the funding. Here are a few examples:
· The Monroe Association of ReMARCable Citizens (MARC) said some of its HSAB funding would be used for its 12.5 percent match of state funding for its Adult Day Training program. The funds will support 106 people with intellectual disabilities on a variety of “daily valued routines” that include: vocations in horticulture, janitorial and food preparation; financial, self-help, adaptive and social skills; and supported employment in the community.
· The Autism Society of the Keys stated it would use HSAB funding to assist with costs for initial Applied Behavioral Therapy screening, child-friendly autism awareness reading books and special needs products that include autism-specific secure car seats, backpacks, personal trampolines, private swim lessons and sensory vests.
· Florida Keys Health Start Coalition said the HSAB funding would provide subsidized prenatal care and mental health services for pregnant and post-partum women who are uninsured and underinsured in Monroe County. For Fiscal Year 2017, the coalition stated it was on track to serve the 30 women funded by HSAB.
· AIDS Help of Monroe County said the HSAB funding would support its Community-Based RN Project: RN- Intensive Case Management. Licensed registered nurses provide assessments to determine the best level and intensity of care for each individual. The goal is to serve 125 people.
· The Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Florida Keys said it uses HSAB funds to offset expenses for professional, licensed medical and clinical staff to provide medically necessary home health, palliative and hospice care to uninsured and under-insured Monroe County residents..
The Monroe County Commissioners each appoint one person from the community to serve on the Human Services Advisory Board.