A beleaguered summer camp that teaches low-income girls about finance and self-defense has been thrown a life saver as it received about $10,000 from the operator of Glendale Memorial Medical Center and $1,000 from Soroptimists International.

The money ensures the camp will run again this year, following recent scares prompted by funding and enrollment issues.

“We are thrilled we have support in the community to help us continue to offer Camp Rosie,” said Denise Miller, chair of the Commission on the Status of Women, a city board that organizes the program for at-risk girls, in an interview Monday.

Camp Rosie, which had long been supported by a $10,000 federal grant for low-income communities, came under fire last year when one city official wanted to stop providing it funding from a Community Development Block Grant in light of dwindling funds.

CDBG money to Glendale has been decreasing year over year as Congress tightens its belt and demographic data shows Glendale’s low-income communities aren’t as poor or strained by overcrowded housing as they used to be.

City officials have strongly criticized the data used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to decide how much funding it divvies out to varying grantors. After receiving the federal money, the city of Glendale then distributes it to nonprofits.

Last year, Councilman Ara Najarian wanted to cut Camp Rosie’s CDBG funding so officials wouldn’t have to cut more funding to other programs, such as after-school tutoring at Homenetman Glendale Ararat Chapter and a mentoring group for at-risk youth run by the Glendale Police Department.

But he lost that fight as the majority of the council disagreed at the time.

However, this year, the Commission on the Status of Women has decided to not even apply for CDBG funding because of shrinking resources, Tereza Aleksanian, an executive analyst with the city, said at a commission meeting last week.

In addition to the funding controversy last year, Camp Rosie was at risk of not taking place at all last summer due to low enrollment. But a jolt of last-minute applicants ensured the camp’s two, three-week sessions for 12- to 18-year-olds would take place.

Miller said now that the program will no longer receive CDBG funds, the free service doesn’t have to be limited to low-income campers, and the commission may consider loosening applicant requirements.

She also expects the future of Camp Rosie to continually depend on donations.

“We hope that the young girls in Glendale take advantage of it,” she said. “Every single person who has gone through it has not regretted it.”

For more information about Camp Rosie, call (818) 548-2000 or email women@ci.glendale.ca.us.

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Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.

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