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Social problems facing New York City are getting worse and so are the living conditions of poor families, according to a new survey of social service providers. The survey, conducted by the School of Public Affairs of Baruch College, sent online questionnaires to top executives of nonprofits through ten umbrella organizations. Respondents from 150 groups represent broad service fields including family support, child care, child welfare, housing and homeless services. More than three-quarters of respondents said the number of people they serve has been increasing in recent years, but they are still unable to meet clients’ needs due to government funding constraints. A whopping 62% said they had to close programs and more than one-third said they had to lay off staff in the last few years. The social services sector in New York City could lose hundreds of millions of dollars more under the Community Services Block Grant proposed by President Bush, the state budget and the pending city budgets. “Right now we have an administration that is really launching a war on poverty programs,” said Nancy Wackstein, executive director of the United Neighborhood Houses of New York, one of the co-sponsors of the survey. Her group and other co-sponsors of the survey, including the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, the Human Services Council of New York and UJA-Federation of New York, called on the federal and state governments to stop block granting and protect funding for vital services. (X. Rong)

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