Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Agencies That Shelter Homeless to Get More Money

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Agencies That Shelter Homeless to Get More Money

Article excerpt

From now on, agencies that provide temporary shelter for the homeless are expected to receive a larger portion of the estimated $200,000 that is collected each year to aid the homeless in St. Charles County.

Agencies that provide indirect services to the homeless and those that try to prevent people from becoming homeless will continue to receive money from the county fund.

"But we've taken a totally different approach" in recommending how much money goes to each agency," said Daniel F. Hite, chairman of the nine-member St. Charles County Homeless Board. "We've prioritized those organizations that actually have shelters." The shift in policy resulted from concerns expressed last month by members of the County Council about whether the money is serving the homeless directly, as intended by enabling state legislation. The council makes the final decision on how the money is allocated. After reviewing the board's recommendation last month for a semiannual allocation, the council asked that the homeless board review its method of allocating the dollars. Two weeks later, in a 3 1/2-hour meeting, the homeless board set up new guidelines. Hite said the board generally has less than half the money requested by the agencies. In what at first appeared to be an equitable way of distributing the money, the board decided at its November meeting that each agency would get 41 percent of the amount it had requested. But that was before the County Council expressed concern that the money was not directed more to the homeless. Hite agreed. "Giving all the agencies 41 percent of what they requested was not a good way," he said. "The more an agency asks for, the more it would receive." The idea for giving priority to agencies that maintain shelters was promoted by board member Susan T. Rudolph. After the allocation process was rehashed, Hite said, only Paul H. Brockmeyer voted to stick to the previous method of allocation. If the most recent recommendation is approved by the council, the major beneficiaries would be: Youth In Need, a temporary home for runaways or other teens in trouble. …

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