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Metro Council Allocates More Than Half A Million To Help Homeless

The city agency that provides services to people experiencing homelessness received a funding boost Thursday from the Metro Council.

Council members authorized the transfer of $546,791 to the Office of Resilience and Community Services within the budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The funds are intended to be used to temporarily store belongings, as well as to provide temporary shelter, including low-barrier shelters. Such shelters may not turn people away — even if, for example, they're not sober.

Sponsor Bill Hollander, of District 9, said there is a crisis in the city's shelter system and among those who are homeless. He has led the call for more help with fellow Councilmember Barbara Sexton Smith, who represents downtown.

"We have a crisis in the community now and we think we need to deal with it," Hollander said.

He said he would like to see the funds put to use by Jan. 14, 2019. The ordinance requires the Office of Resilience to present a plan for how it would use the funds, including partner organizations, by Jan. 2. It asks for Mayor Greg Fischer to present a "more permanent plan" to address the needs of the homeless community by the time he presents his proposed budget for fiscal year 2020.

Amina Elahi is LPM's City Editor. Email Amina at aelahi@lpm.org.

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