New Philadelphia, Ohio - Tuscarawas County’s homeless shelter is looking to the community to help them keep their doors open as they wait for funding to come through from the state.
Friends of the Homeless Executive Director Calvin White says they have a two-year grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development that covers about a third of their operating budget, but he says they can’t access that money right now because the state hasn’t released the funding.
“We can’t submit for a drawdown until we hear from Columbus that that money is available, and we just have hit a low point in our finances and our financial circumstance that we just don’t have the money,” he explains.
White says they need to come up with $5,000 by the end of the week just to cover payroll for the nine full-time and four part-time employees working at the shelter and their Pathway to Wellness facility, and that doesn’t include what they still need to cover their monthly bills.
“I don’t want to see our employees standing in a food line. If we don’t have money to pay them, it’s the same situation. They can’t afford to pay rent. They can’t afford gas. They can’t afford childcare. More than likely, they need security and they’re gonna need to find a job, and so we could potentially lose staff. I could have a ripple effect that is no good outcome either way,” he says.
White says this funding lapse could impact more than just their employees.
“If we can’t staff the shelter and provide the safety and the security and the services that we do, where will 40 people go tomorrow if we have to close our doors,” he says. “We have children here, too.”
White says they’re seeking donations or even a cash loan to help get them through until they are able to access that funding.
“What we could do is a donation or a gift, and those are appreciated, or if somebody has the wherewithal that could loan us the money until we could collect our first draw-down, and it could get paid back immediately, like within a month or something. I know that sounds messy and complicated but we’re pretty much out of options,” he says.
People can mail donations to shelter at 211 East High Avenue in New Philadelphia or to PO Box 466 at the New Philadelphia Post Office. White says at this point, they’re even willing to come out and pick up donations.
“We’re desperate,” he says. “We’ll make arrangements to make it easy for anybody that could help us out.”
White says he plans to do a double draw-down once the state releases their funding to get things back on track, although he might not be able to do that for two or three more weeks.
STACEY CARMANY, TUSCO TV