Budget cuts hit LeRoy Haynes Center

by Bailey Porter
Managing Editor

Despite severe cutbacks to the children welfare industry in recent years, the LeRoy Haynes Center for Children and Family Services is negotiating with Los Angeles County for funding and looking to the future expansion of programs.

The La Verne-based center’s mental health program has received a serious blow, said Andre Bossieux, spokesman for the center, who has worked there for 23 years and is a University of La Verne alumnus.

“The bottom line is that it’s hurting our kids,” he said.

Tri-City Mental Health, with which the center subcontracts for mental health services, filed for bankruptcy in February, leaving a $1 million debt to LeRoy Haynes and putting several services in jeopardy.

Looking into expanding the all-boy residential and educational facility to include a girls division and programs for developmentally disabled youth have been put on hold indefinitely.

“These expansions all require start-up funds and financial guarantees from the county and state,” Bossieux said.

Eleven faculty members at the on-site, non-public school have been reassigned to the residential program because of the state budget’s affect on the public school system as well.

LeRoy Haynes budgeted for 145 students this year and are only servicing 95, an example of the significant reduction of local districts placing students at the school, Bossieux said.

Most of the students at the center’s school come from local public schools. These are students with continued behavioral problems, learning disabilities or expulsions, who would be placed in special education classes. Instead, the districts pay for the center to take over their educations.

However, with public schools also feeling the effect of budget cuts, schools have stopped sending students to LeRoy Haynes to retain their own funding.

The center expects a final replacement contract with Los Angeles County next month, said Frank Yang, chief financial officer for LeRoy Haynes.

The transition to a new contract had to happen quickly because a federal mandate provides constant treatment of these low-income children, he said.

Any financial loses felt by the center will be in this transition to a new contract.

The center also relies heavily on grants from public and private corporations like a $10,000 grant from the Boeing Company that will convert a small kitchen into a computer lab for the high school boys at Thurber Cottage, one of the residential units.

Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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Given the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that significant changes and sacrifices are necessary to maintain the academic integrity of the University of La Verne, while also ensuring our continued financial stability. That being said, we have serious concerns about the approach that has been taken with this challenge.