Officials looking for long term solution for homeless shelter
by Amelia Holliday
HAZARD — After a rough financial year, which caused a temporary cutback on services in May, the Corner Haven homeless shelter in Hazard has been fully functional since November thanks to an advancement of grant money and donations from the community. However, without a more permanent source of funding, the shelter may find itself in trouble again.
Adrienne Bush, executive director of Community Ministries, said she has been working on some solutions to their economic issues.
“I’m working with an ad hoc committee with our board of directors to look at finding sustainable revenue for all our programs, including Corner Haven,” Bush said.
Bush said routes mainly being discussed are federal and state grants, which the organization has received in previous years, but there are some other options on the table.
“One of the things we worked on this summer and fall was giving different churches and businesses and civic groups an opportunity to invest in the shelter by helping out with recurring contributions and meals and whatever other kinds of supplies they can provide,” she said. “In May, we opened up a calendar and said, hey, these are the days that your church can come serve dinner. That’s something that really hadn’t been done before.”
Other things Bush said she and the board are considering to sustain recurring personnel, food, and equipment costs are coal severance allocations and new grants. The state budget has a $50,000 line item in coal severance funds for Corner Haven, $10,000 of which was advanced to the group in November when the shelter was reopened.
Bush also explained she is interested in getting funding through Medicaid for some services provided at the shelter.
“About half the folks we see there suffer from some kind of mental illness, so I’m continuing to work with Kentucky River Community Care to help serve those people, as well as we’re monitoring the state Medicaid Advantage Care situation, and if it ever gets straightened out we would like to start billing for the services we provide on site,” she said.
While there are many options for the organization, Bush said nothing is a guarantee.
“I don’t have any silver bullet solutions,” Bush said. “We will do as much as we can for as long as we can do it.”
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