Funding Change Proposal Alarms Durham's Homeless Services Providers | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Funding Change Proposal Alarms Durham's Homeless Services Providers

Posted by on Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 11:52 AM

click to enlarge Twenty-one people signed up to speak Monday night at a public hearing on Durham's housing needs after advocates learned of a potential change to how homeless services in the city are funded. - SARAH WILLETS
  • Sarah Willets
  • Twenty-one people signed up to speak Monday night at a public hearing on Durham's housing needs after advocates learned of a potential change to how homeless services in the city are funded.
Nonprofits that serve Durham’s homeless population say a proposal to change the way the city doles out federal funding could jeopardize their operations.

But nothing is definite yet, and community development director Reginald Johnson says the city hopes to actually increase its funding for homeless services by primarily using the city's dedicated housing fund instead.

However, no one told nonprofits that when they showed up to a December 12 workshop on how to apply for federal funds and learned that the intended use of the money they’ve received may change. So housing advocates sounded the alarm, prompting a flurry of concerned emails to city council members and a nearly two-hour public hearing Monday on the city’s affordable housing needs.  (Johnson said the information wasn't pertinent to the subject of the workshop).

The messages of concerns caught council members off-guard, and they seemed similarly out of the loop Monday night as Johnson explained the proposal staff had developed. Council members assured the crowd that they don't intend to defund homeless services and, as council member Mark-Anthony Middleton put it, "the buck stops with us," not a city staff proposal.

The proposal is intended to help the city streamline its services from intake to permanent housing. Johnson said a recent review of city services revealed weaknesses in the intake system. Current intake procedures apply mostly to families, Johnson said, whereas most homeless people in Durham are single. City manager Tom Bonfield says this is the result of an Obama-era directive to prioritize addressing homelessness among veterans and families.

Local dollars would also be more flexible than federal money, Bonfield said.

Usually, about $120,000 in Community Development Block Grant money and $150,000 in Emergency Services Grant money are awarded to nonprofits that serve the homeless for uses like outreach and shelter renovations. Under the proposed change, the CDBG money would be used for affordable housing and the ESG money limited to rapid rehousing for the homeless.

Urban Ministries of Durham, Open Table Ministry, Families Moving Forward, and the Durham Crisis Response Center rely on that funding, advocates said Monday.

According to an alert that circulated Monday, Urban Ministries of Durham uses CDBG funds to serve an average of 712 meals per day to homeless and low-income people, and Families Moving Forward uses ESG money for operating costs at its emergency shelter, which serves as many as eighty families per year, and CDBG funding for case management.

“The net result of the CDBG and ESG decisions made by DCD is that all agencies providing food, case management, street outreach and shelter to homeless households in Durham are effectively defunded,” the alert says.

Monday’s public hearing was the first of two the city is required to hold to get federal housing funding. No final decision will be made until spring.

Tags: , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

Sarah, Beg to differ. HT

http://www.womennc.org/un-csw-fellowship/2…

WomenNC proudly announces its 2017-18 CSW Fellows!

We …

by Harris Tweed on Women of Color Are "Particularly Burdened" by Gentrification in Durham (News)

Harris Tweed, the Capstone program is a UNC program. Thanks for reading!

https://publicpolicy.unc.edu/academics/exp…

by swillets on Women of Color Are "Particularly Burdened" by Gentrification in Durham (News)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

Sarah, Beg to differ. HT

http://www.womennc.org/un-csw-fellowship/2…

WomenNC proudly announces its 2017-18 CSW Fellows!

We …

by Harris Tweed on Women of Color Are "Particularly Burdened" by Gentrification in Durham (News)

Harris Tweed, the Capstone program is a UNC program. Thanks for reading!

https://publicpolicy.unc.edu/academics/exp…

by swillets on Women of Color Are "Particularly Burdened" by Gentrification in Durham (News)

Sounds like hitting the accelerator on gentrification and push out. More hand outs for developers.

by M 1 on The Opportunity Zone Tax Incentive Is Supposed to Help Distressed Areas. See Which Parts of Durham Are Up for It. (News)

Capstone Fellows are part of http://WomenNC.org, a 501c3 non-profit. They do not appear to be UNC Fellowships …

by Harris Tweed on Women of Color Are "Particularly Burdened" by Gentrification in Durham (News)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation