Robin Turner has about six months to reinvent Father's Workshop before the savings account runs dry.
Branded a "duplicative service" after more than a dozen years of providing job training and counseling to people who might otherwise sit in jail, the York County nonprofit fell victim last year to public-sector cost-cutting.
Turner, the program's executive director, has hatched a plan to keep Father's Workshop around, pinning the organization's survival on a new program housed out of the emerging community center at 701 W. King St, currently known as Abundant Life Ministries.
"We are not going away," Turner said.
Father's Workshop, currently located in east York, will move to the York City
church on July 1. Eventually, the goal is to open a nearby transition house for men coming out of prison, Turner said.
Grocery service: But, first, she's hoping to use what's left of the Father's Workshop's fund balance to launch a grocery-delivery program for local seniors who struggle to access fresh fruits and vegetables. The reinvented Father's Workshop will provide jobs to the nonprofit's former client base -- the "hard to employ" -- and "meet a need," Turner said.
She's gained the support of the city Health Bureau, WellSpan and the Healthy York County Coalition.
Turner said she is confident the service is in demand. According to a recent survey of older Yorkers, seniors often go without fresh produce, she said. But it's not a lack of grocery options that's to blame.
"It's that they can't carry it, or they don't feel safe," Turner said.
Father's Workshop had been around for 13 years before the county pulled its funding last year. County commissioners predicted the county could perform the same work in-house for considerably less money and hired three people to do the job.
To stay afloat since the budget decision, Turner said she laid off two employees and cut the agency's hours.
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