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VALLEY FOCUS

Pacoima : United Way May Halt Funding of Charity

August 15, 1995|TIM MAY

A Pacoima charity that provides food, clothing and other services to some of the San Fernando Valley's poorest residents may be forced to close this month if the United Way votes to withhold funds from the agency.

The Home Visitation Center, a nonprofit outreach agency on Van Nuys Boulevard, has been known since 1979 for its "no questions asked" policy of providing aid to the needy. Two weeks ago, officials from the center were informed that they would no longer receive United Way funds because of a lack of management oversight and administrative problems.

Audrey Hanson, chairwoman of a United Way volunteer committee that reviewed the center's status, said center officials were given four months to respond to requests for specific information about staffing, budgets, fund-raising goals and minutes from the center's board meetings.

The recommendation to stop providing funds must be voted on by directors of the United Way North Angeles Region.

"I'm doing everything I can to try to stop this," said Robin Baxter, president of the center's board of directors.

Hanson said the program review committee's purpose is to ensure that United Way funds are used responsibly. But among its findings, the committee discovered that the Home Visitation Center had no record of any board-of-directors meetings held since January of this year.

Through last year, the center had received as much as half its $105,000 annual budget from the United Way. This year, United Way was slated to provide the center with $36,000.

"It's ludicrous that so many people are going to suffer because of paperwork," said Lynda Wynne, who became executive director of the center in April. Wynne said the center helps between 800 and 900 families each week.

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