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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, January 28, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesCFC Braces for Hovensa Fallout

CFC Braces for Hovensa Fallout

Stress on families is expected to increase in the coming months as the economic impact of the Hovensa closing spreads over the community, and the Children and Families Council is trying to stay ahead of the need.

Members of the private and public sector gathered Friday in a quarterly meeting convened by V.I. First Lady Cecile deJongh.

Human Services Commissioner Christopher Finch said it is too early to assess the impact the refinery’s closing will have on the delivery of services, but “a preliminary look indicates that nonprofits will experience some difficulties.”

He added this is particularly challenging given the fact that HOVENSA has historically provided significant donations in support of family-based programs.

“We are cognizant that family stress rises given losses in family income, and are making every effort to provide counseling, intervention and other services,” Finch said.

Some 10,306 families in the territory – totaling more than 24,000 people – currently receive food stamps through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Finch said. The cost to the federal government is $4.3 million a month, or $51.6 million a year, he said, adding, “This number is about to grow.”

On the employment front, Finch reported that Human Services and the Labor Department together submitted a grant application for $6 million in federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families funds. If the request is successful, the program would provide subsidized work for more than 400 people for 48 weeks.

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