Albany- The governor's plan to offer more state help to church-affiliated charities was defeated at the state capitol. Places like the Albany Rescue Mission may not be able to apply for state grants. The Georgia Constitution prevents faith-based organizations from getting state money.
For two years, Governor Sonny Perdue has tried to change that. So far, he's failed. Thursday, the state Senate voted down the Governor's proposed constitutional amendment by one vote, a disappointing decision to many religious charities.
The Albany Rescue Mission depends on private donations. Money from the state could help the mission run two programs that do the most to help people, their food program and assistance for women and children. The mission is operating at capacity, feeding nearly four-thousand meals a month and housing up to 18 women and children.
"This particular time of the year, after the holiday's we're okay for a while, where it really starts to hit is in the summer all of the donations have dried up and it really gets critical then," said Brother Larry Hample.
Governor Perdue even made a point of stopping in Albany last month to visit the Albany outreach center to show support for the Amendment, and he hasn't given up hope yet. Supporters of the plan are asking the Senate to reconsider the issue on Monday.