JP APAC office closing

April 29, 2011
By

Rebeca Oliveira

The JP APAC office at 753 Centre St. is being consolidated and moving into its sister office at 295 Centre St. as of April 29, the Gazette has learned. No services are being cut.

JP APAC is one of 17 neighborhood offices run by the anti-poverty non-profit Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD). It provides low-income residents with such programs as fuel assistance.

“We’re going to keep [the program] going, no matter what,” said ABCD spokesperson Susan Kooperstein. “We’ll keep all the services rolling.”

The closure of the 753 Centre offices is due to a small cut—about 2 percent—in federal Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) funding. ABCD and its neighborhood offices are consolidating branches where possible to preserve services, Kooperstein said. That includes an office in the North End.

The CSBG cut came in the midst of a budget controversy: “We were threatened with zero [funds],” Kooperstein said, which would have closed all programs, city-wide.

During the recent budget crisis in Congress, Republicans were “pushing very hard to cut the [CSBG] funding,” she said. “In the end, everyone rallied and we’re still alive and we’re still fighting.”

The federal funding will be up for review again in October. Meanwhile, ABCD is fund-raising for its programs.

“Should we get a cut in October, we’ll still be there for people,” Kooperstein said.

JP APAC terminated the 753 Centre lease early, said Mike Vance, ABCD’s vice president of field operations. He said that office was chosen to close because the rent is higher and the 295 Centre office has been in operation longer.