A reconvened annual general meeting saw ALSO Care & Benevolent Society post an operating loss of $389,147, close to double that of its 2010 $208,132 deficit.

The loss — as at June 2011 — was blamed on money being pulled from Care’s reserves (which members approved last year to ensure the organisation remained solvent), staff redundancy payouts and management fees.

During the meeting last week, ALSO secretary Daniel Perkins also confirmed the much anticipated money from ALSO Care’s Members Resolution Fund was partly received last week to the tune of $136,000.

Perkins said the activities of both ALSO Care and the ALSO Foundation (the public advocacy arm of the organisation) had been significantly hampered over the last nine months with the delay of money from the reserves.

“It’s a relief to the committee, and I’m sure a relief to members, that the liquidity of ALSO Care is much more viable,” he told the meeting.

Perkins said both Care and the ALSO Foundation had been living hand-to-mouth, putting a strain on partner organisations, staff and members.

“We’re immensely relieved to get through this period, now we want to move forward to start responsible planning and a dialogue with the community about what we can do with the money available to us.”

The meeting also revealed paid staff at Care’s All So Fabulous op shop had been cut so the shop has paid staff working only two or three days a week. The shop revenue — Care’s main income — was marginally higher in 2011 than 2010.

Perkins maintained the op shop was still making money but said its long-term viability would be considered.

“Our information is that it is profitable,” he said.

“As part of the next phase of planning of ALSO Care, the continued viability of the op shop should be a part of that discussion.

“We need to decide if we do subsidise the op shop as a community resource or whether it’s something we can no longer afford.”

An idea for the ALSO Foundation to save money on rent and move from its City Village home to the op shop premises in Smith St was floated. Perkins said the board would consider the proposal.

The future of the organisation’s LGBTI community listing the ALSO directory, however, looks grim. Perkins said printing and layout are currently on hold due to uncertain finances.

“We’ve decided not to engage designers or send it to the printers as yet,” he said.

“It would be irresponsible to move to print.”

Questioned about the future of the organisation, Perkins said much work needs to be done.

“We’ve made no apologies or beaten around the bush that the situation is unsustainable,” he said.

“To reduce expenditure is not easy, you can’t just snap your fingers.”

The board is still to elect a president. Perkins said the board advertised for new board members but did not receive nominations.

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