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Homeless Face Funding Shortfall

March 12th, 2010 by flanews

The homeless population grew 11 percent last year, but money for emergency shelters could be cut to help fill a three billion dollar budget hole. As Whitney Ray tells us, in all, homeless programs could lose 67 million state and federal dollars.

This homeless shelter was designed to house 140 people. Today more than 240 call The Shelter home.

Its overly crowded. Theres no beds, said a woman we spoke with who has been living at the Shelter for over a year. She didnt want us to use her name. She says people are trying to get back on their feet, but they cant find work.

We dont have jobs, basically because nobody has jobs. They have been trying to go to the labor pool, but they dont send anybody out, she said.

And for the homeless, what little they have could soon be taken away. State Senators are considering cutting two million dollars from the Department of Children and Families Office of Homelessness.

And 65 million federal stimulus dollars have run dry. Health and Human Services lobbyist Karen Woodall says the funding drop could leave thousands in the cold.

Cutting any money to serve the homeless population is not a good idea and I think the challenge to the legislature, there are other areas to cut funding, said Woodall.

Woodall says lawmakers could save 24 million dollars by eliminating subsidies for pro sports teams. Other places to find money include eliminating tax exemptions on bottled water and collecting the internet sales taxes.

A one day count in 2009 found 58-thousand homeless people living in the state. New homeless statics will be out by the end of the month.

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