Detroit nonprofit Alternatives For Girls may lose major funding

Critical grants set to expire

DETROIT – For 31 years, Alternatives For Girls has been helping the city’s most vulnerable: homeless and at-risk young girls.

The nonprofit is one of the most well-respected in the city but it still has to compete for federal grant dollars.

The current grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is set to expire at the end of the month. AFG is waiting to hear whether it will qualify for $400,000 in new grant monies. Staff has already been told about the possibility of reductions.

“We may have to reduce the number of beds in our shelter. We may have to reduce some staff positions, but we will do so in a planned, sensitive, responsible way,” CEO Amy Good said.

There are three options: AFG gets all the funding, part of the funding or none at all. The nonprofit has an action plan for each of those possibilities.

The not knowing is what is nerve-wracking.

“I find myself waking up in the middle of the night leaning over to the cellphone,” COO Celia Thomas said. “Not to play Scrabble, I’m looking for emails telling me we’ve been funded.”

Currently, AFG’s shelter has 19 young girls and 12 of their children. Nobody would be turned out onto the street, but transitioning them to other facilities is a possibility.

"I want them to know AFG has their backs," Good said.

To learn more about Alternatives For Girls or to donate, visit the official website here.

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