Homeless Agencies Heaping Blame on Administration

Imagine that.

The organizations most directly affected by the city’s inability to efficiently handle grant monies are having a press conference to release some pent-up anger they’ve been harboring about the city’s system for years.

One insider told me that the agencies involved have been fearful of criticizing the Administration about the way grants are handled by the city. Criticizing the Mayor, they reasoned, was a good way to make a bad situation worse. But with the release of the State Auditor’s report, the cat’s figuratively out of the bag. So make way for the truth.

Now the agencies want to make it clear that delays in awarding grants have been caused by the administration, not by the agencies. Some grants have been in the process of being paid since last July, and as time goes by, the agencies must come up with ways to survive financially.

As a press conference today, Marlene Gordon, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless, says she’s concerned about the money from the federal stimulus package coming through the city. As for the problems encountered in the last year, she said:

“Now is not the time to turn back unspent housing dollars.   Through the Freedom of Information Act, The Coalition has learned that $88,000 of Shelter Plus Care funding which could have easily been spent was returned by the city in 2008–enough funding to house 15, disabled adults in one bedroom apartments for an entire year. “