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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 11, 1974)
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Cut in LAP operating funds;
administration change likely
Ho downtown office suite houses the
Lincoln Action Program (LAP).
It operates from a building that
previously held an advertising company
and from a house, both in the Malone
area, within the low income neighbor
hoods the agency was established to
But LAP may have no home after
Sept. 30, according to Jesse Payne. Now
operating on funds from the Office of
Economic Opportunity OEO scheduled
to run our Sept. 30, LAP and other
community action agencies throughout
the country are up for a change in
Pending Senate approval, a House of
Representatives bill would Iplace the
agencies under the Department of
Health, Education and Welfare author
ity. Previously, the agencies were under
OEO administration, as provided for in
the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
The bill would abolish OEO, already
dismatled under former President
richard Nixon's administration.
Indications don't favor the possibility
of any action being taken on the bill by
Sept. 30, according to Payne, but other
existing factors have and will affect LAP
operations, he said.
One factor has been the Ipresent
amount of agency funding, Payne said.
Since Nixon's actions regarding OEO,
LAP'S budget has been cut from $1.4
million in ,1968-69 to $600,000 in
1973-74, he said.
Consequentlysome LAP programs
have been cut from the agency,
according to Payne. He said the
manpower and Neighborhood Youth
Corp employment programs were
from the agency, and an alcoholism
counseMQgp;pgram,(has .funding ,urtti!n
Sept. 30.0tV" " ' " '
The remaining five LAP programs
include: a senior opportunity and
service program that advises low-income
elderly persons of their rights; a
Youth Development Program to begin
Oct. 1 aimed at preventing deliquency;
an Economic Development Department
that assists minorities or low-income
persons in establishing small busi
nesses; and a program in which LAP
serves as a grantee agency for Lincoln's
Through these programs, the LAP
staff of 30 works with more than 15,000
low-income persons in Lincoln and
Lancaster County, Payne said, by
meeting with the people to determine
what their needs are, the staff then
provides services for these needs or
referrals to other prcsrams desicned to
meet these needs, Payne said.
Problems that the LAP staff has
discovered in its low-income community
are the lack of direct money available to
families to meet rising costs and a
feeling of helplessness among the
people to improve their situation, Payne
Additional local agencies have been
created to perform the same function
LAP does, Payne said. S.ome, like the
State Departns.nt of Health, have the
equipment and finances to provide
services, he said.
Other agencies, however, have adop
ted eligibility-by-income standards that
exclude most low-income persons,
Payne said. According to OEO stan
dards, the poverty income level is a
$4,750 yearly income for a family of
Many of the agencies are considered
more leaitimate than LAP because they
don't employ the low-income people
they're serving, Payne said. Low
income persons are involved in LAP'S
programs, Payne said.
"If they had had any consciousness
(of the problems of the low-income
people), the problems wouldn't be there
in the first place," he said.
Speculating on the administration of
community angency programs under
HEW, Payne said he thought that some
HEW officials with backgrounds as
Nixon supporters would be conservative
in releasing funds to the agencies.
The conflict lies in that "community
action -agencies are dynamic, they're
.changing things, Payne said.
- --But few people want tor become
involved in changing the conditions of
low-income families, Payne said. The
feeling of powerlessness on their part is
shared by others concerned with
increasing living costs, he said.
"People feel the cake is shrinking.
They want to get their piece of it while
they can," hesaid.,
Lack of university student participa
tion in programs for low-Income families
best demonstrate the unwillingness of
people to become involved in LAPs
programs, Payne said.
"Students now are estranged from
issues. They're back into the Ivory tower
kind of thing" that existed on campus
before student involvment in political
and social issues during the 1960s,
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35TII & HOLDRECE
Wednesday, September 11, 1974
. daily nebraskan
t page 11
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