The United Way's new process for allocating funds to human service agencies serving at-risk youth is an open competition. Eighty-four applications have been narrowed down to fifteen, and ten will probably get funding, according to United Way President Robert Nelkin. The Boy Scouts' Scout Reach program had gotten $140,000 in past years, but it did not make the cut under the new process. Nelkin says the Boy Scouts do wonderful things for youth, but their at-risk program was not as strong as some others in a process looking for the greatest impact and the greatest results. Nelkin says United Way donors seem to appreciate the competitive process so their hard-earned dollars go where the greatest results are achieved for those with the greatest needs.
Spokesman Bob DeWitt says the Greater Pittsburgh Council of Boy Scouts will be seeking alternative funding and does not plan to cut services in the Scout Reach program, which serves from 3- to 5000 at-risk youth at any given time. The funding loss is about one-third of the $460,000 a year United Way gives the Boy Scouts.