There are a number of different ways that centers are funded through their states or through other federal funds.
- Some states provide state general funds. This usually requires the passage of a bill or something in the state budget designated to go to centers. States that have been successful in securing these funds have been able to show that the Centers are cost effective and provide important outcomes for people with disabilities.
- There are several sources of funds that sometimes go to centers through their department of rehabilitation. These may include social security reimbursement funds, Innovation and Expansion funds and contracts for employment or youth transition services through Title I of the Rehab Act.
- Some centers have the grant from HUD for administering existing housing vouchers, especially in rural areas where there isn’t a powerful housing council at the city or county level.
- Americorp volunteers can assist with the development of anti-poverty efforts, including building a curriculum for financial literacy for consumers, for example. These are short term projects, so whatever you desire for them to do must be completed and leave a lasting outcome after their service ends. A nice plus — if someone is hired under Americorp their stipend doesn’t count against benefits, so it can be a nice transition into the work place for some people with disabilities.
- Some cities and counties hire centers to provide driver training to their transportation people, marking wheelchairs re: tie downs for transportation, etc.
- Accessibility is often an area of strength. Certifying access of public places or assistance with checking accessibility of polling places, for example, can be paid work.
I know you want more base funding, but centers often end of putting a package of little things together to make it work. You can find more on marketing and giving at http://www.ilru.org/topics/public-relations-marketing