Rochester, N.Y. - For the 650 women and children who rely on the YWCA’S housing program each year, it's not a hand out, it's a hand up.
“None of us really know when we're going to be in a situation where we'll need help from other people,” YWCA President and C.E.O. Jean Carroll said.
The organization’s housing program could be at risk.
Almost 15% of the YWCA’S income comes from charitable giving, and non-profits worry that fewer donors will give money if tax deductibility is eliminated.
“People give to charities out of their heart but they do get some benefit from it and if we're to take that away, it's less than they have available to give,” Carroll said.
Jennifer Leonard, President and C.E.O. of Rochester Area Foundation Community, tells 13WHAM News that the non-profit sector will be affected by uncertainty to give and those organizations would have to deal with the aftermath.
“Can you imagine if people are forced to decide whether they want to, with whatever small discretionary dollars they have to give, whether they want to support the homeless or hungry or arts groups?” said Rochester Broadway Theatre League Board Chairman Arnie Rothschild.
Rothschild says donations to his organization fully support educational programs.
He says he suspects some arts groups won't survive.
“I don't think it's a concern, it's a reality,” Rothschild says. “I think we're going to see a lot of the arts groups in this community that will go away if that's the case.”
That’s a position organizations don't want to be placed in, calling on Congress to settle up.
“I think there's a moment in time when we have to begin to work collaboratively to make government work but now it's time for the lawmakers to do what they get paid to do, compromise and legislate,” Rothschild said
Carroll says, “This is not something that should be on the table at all. It really does not speak to the heart of who we are as Americans or as a community.”