Here’s some positive fallout from the State Auditor’s investigation of policies in the Metro Housing Department — the Mayor is making some changes in the way federal monies are used to get “homeless people off the streets, back to work and into safe housing.”
There is $9.2 million in funding available for this purpose, and after meeting with the heads of non-profit agency heads who work with the homeless, Abramson announced today that the new approach will make $1.5 million more available, and it will be used to hire an additional 20 case managers to help the homeless. See, new jobs!
After the agencies held a press conference last week complaining about lax policies in getting funding, the Mayor agreed to meet with them and make changes. Some grants were delayed by as much as six months in getting to agencies because of simple incompetence in the Housing Department.
Abramson said he’ll designate another $750K in the next budget for homeless assistance grants, a move that will appease leftover resentment from the agencies.
“Using this existing committee of non-profit agencies, the process can be streamlined and the decisions can be made by those who know the challenges the homeless providers face,” said Tina Heavrin, director of the city’s Housing and Family Services Dept.