homeless centers, domestic violence shelters face $1M cut/Detroit

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Mon, 18 May 1998 18:04:44 -0700 (PDT)


http://www.detnews.com/1998/metro/9805/15/05150069.htm
FWD  The Detroit News - May 15, 1998


     WARMING CENTERS FEUD HEATS UP

     CITY COUNCIL TAKES AWAY $1 MILLION THAT ARCHER SET ASIDE FOR PROGRAM

     By Santiago Esparza / The Detroit News


     DETROIT -- Warming centers for the homeless and shelters for battered
women and their children are among programs jeopardized in a funding feud
between Mayor Dennis Archer and the City Council.

    The council has approved its allocation of $13 million in federal
Community Development Block Grant money -- including $555,000 for the
city's Department of Human Services.

    Archer had set aside $1.5 million for Human Services, which would cover
warming centers, shelters and programs for young people.

    But the council yanked about $1 million of Archer's allocation to
bolster the $12 million it usually doles out annually to community groups
from the federal grant.

    Council members said they needed $13 million instead of $12 million
this year because they received more requests than usual.

    The groups provide such services as meals for shut-ins, home repairs
for the elderly and help for the poor. The allocation also finances
renovations of buildings, elevators, parking lots and garages for some
groups.

    Bernard Parker, president of Operation Get Down, operates a warming
center. The cuts likely will limit services, he said.

     "It's really unfortunate that they do not understand the importance of
the center," Parker said. "It saves lives."

    Bill Warren, the city's human services director, said he planned to
expand to three warming sites from two this winter. His plans may have to
be shelved.  "Every dollar we lose means a dollar less service," Warren
said. "We have to find the funds. We want a warming site for homeless women
and children this winter."

    City Council members Brenda Scott, Maryann Mahaffey and Ken Cockrel Jr.
voted against an allocation for the Human Services Department.

    Earlier, Councilwoman Kay Everett said Archer could find the money
elsewhere in his proposed $2.5 billion budget for fiscal 1999.

    Scott said she was upset that council staffers did not have the time to
make last-minute suggestions on the spending before a vote is taken. "It
doesn't make much sense," she said.
                               
[Detroit News Staff Writer Suzette Hackney contributed to this report.]

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