County Rejects Salvation Army's Funding Request Cuts to Affect Shelter, Food, Clothing

Article excerpt

When St. Charles County distributes $100,000 this spring to six agencies that serve the county's homeless, the Salvation Army will not be on the list.

The cut in funds may require the Salvation Army to mount a special campaign this year to pay for the shelter, food and clothing it provides the homeless at its shelters in O'Fallon and St. Charles.

Poor communication, misunderstandings and fuzzy procedures appear to be reasons the Salvation Army was left out of the money.

Earlier this year, the Salvation Army had applied to the St. Charles County Homeless Board for $42,500 to help pay for its operation of two shelters, which have 36 beds. The nine-member board recommends to the County Council how it should allocate its funding.

In that application, the Salvation Army reported that it had money left over from an allocation last year.

Last month, with two of its members absent, the Homeless Board voted unanimously to recommend that the Salvation Army's request be denied.

Daniel F. Hite, secretary of the board who was presiding in the absence of Chairman Tom Cronan, said the main reason for turning down the Salvation Army's request "was that they had such a balance left over, around $35,000."

Also, Hite and other members of the board had been expecting the Salvation Army to submit a detailed accounting of how the agency had spent previous dollars it had received from the county's Homeless Fund.

Instead, Hite said, the board received a plain sheet of paper "with no monetary figures at all, no signatures and only about two paragraphs about the number of homeless people who had been helped by funds they got in 1994 and no mention of any dollar amount spent."

Hite said, "What we got was very incomplete. I don't recall ever receiving anything like it. I thought it was very inappropriate."

Finally, Hite said, the report was late. "We got it on the night we were voting."

Board Chairman Cronan pointed out that state law requires that recipients of the Homeless Fund give an annual accounting of how the money was spent. He said the Salvation Army had failed to submit such an accounting. He said that the Homeless Board had also withheld funds from the Salvation Army in April 1993 for the same reason.

Capt. Rock Weindorf, who heads the Salvation Army in St. Charles County, denied Hite's allegation that the agency's report was submitted late to the Homeless Board. But Weindorf was referring to the application for funds submitted at the first of the year, while Hite and other members of the Homeless Board were referring to the two-paragraph report. …