SHOUT 'likely to close down' without funding pledge
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SHOUT 'likely to close down' without funding pledge

An organisation that provides self-help charities with administration support and office space is at risk of closure without a firm funding pledge.

Not-for-profit Self Help Organisations United Together - SHOUT - was funded by Disability ACT until the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

SHOUT unsuccessfully lobbied Disability Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith for a lifeline.

SHOUT unsuccessfully lobbied Disability Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith for a lifeline.Credit:Jamila Toderas

The organisation approached ACT Health for funds and received $124,790 in transitional funding from the Commonwealth until the end of the financial year.

SHOUT will find out in late June whether it qualifies for a grant under the NDIS Information, Linkages and Capacity Building program, but acting chairwoman Rebecca Davey said that was too long to wait.

Six organisations rent space in SHOUT's Pearce office and about 6000 clients involved with more than 47 groups benefit from its work.

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"It's now the end of February and our funding runs out at the end of June, and there's only enough money to get us through until the end of July anyway, so things have gotten really dire and we've got systems we have to go through if we don't find out really soon as to whether we've got any funding," Ms Davey said.

"We'll have to have closed down before we find out whether we've got funding because we can't risk leaving it to find out on the 29th of June and only have a month's money in the bank to actually wind the organisation up completely and support for our tenants and everything else as well."

Ms Davey, also chairwoman of the Chronic Fatigue Society, said organisations like hers were at risk of closure as a result.

"We don't earn anywhere enough funding to actually go and rent an office space, so we'll be homeless and we may have to look at shutting the doors and shutting down the society if we can't find someone who can take us on for the same amount," she said.

ACT Health was approached for comment.

Disability Minister Rachel Stephen Smith responded: "Under the NDIS, the ACT has been transitioning all disability services funding across to the NDIA.

"These changes are not isolated to SHOUT, and specific funding has been provided to help organisations, including SHOUT, transition to the NDIS environment.

"The ACT government will continue to work with SHOUT to see if there are other funding options available to the organisation and how they can apply."

Emily Baker is a reporter for the Sunday Canberra Times. She previously reported on education for The Canberra Times.