BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - New Birmingham mayor William Bell is urging the private sector to step in and help non-profits since the city is facing money troubles. On the second full day on the job Mayor Bell addressed the annual meeting of United Way. Bell's message was to continue to support the agency's mission of taking care of those in need. "But if we as a community don't support United Way with our contributions, they won't be able to help the people suffering at this time," Bell said.
Last year, United Way raised more than $37 million in the worst economy since the depression. The President and CEO of United Way says 2010 will also be challenging. "There is no question it's tough and it's not tougher for United Way it's tougher for the people we help," Drew Langloh said.
The city of Birmingham has been forced to cut back its financial support of non-profit organizations. Bell is also facing a $20 million budget deficit. "When the reduction in the economy starts cutting into the city's ability to provide basic services, we are hard pressed to keep out commitments to those who non-profit agencies out there," says Bell.
Mayor Bell is urging the corporate sector to do more in support non-profit goals. The head of United Way says it is going to take everyone working together to raise funds and still provide needed services. "One of the biggest things we learned, this idea of participating private and public partnerships. Collaboration between agencies is the way to get things done in this economy," Langloh said.