East Lansing City Council voted Tuesday to allocate some unexpected funds to local service agencies, after previously deciding not to fund them. WKAR’s Katie Cook reports.
East Lansing Info reports that City Council voted 4-1 on Tuesday to channel about $52,000 in unexpected Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, funds to a group of local human services agencies. The emergency shelter Haven House which will receive the bulk of this amount, about $25,000.
Gabriel Biber is Executive Director at Haven House. He says this allocation of the funds did come as a bit of a surprise, but so had the initial information that they would be taking a funding cut in the first place.
“The City of East Lansing had provided many years of support for Haven House and very recently we found out that the proposed budget the city was planning to pass included cutting funding to all human service agencies that had been previously funded. So what Haven House did is we started to get the word out to our supporters and members of the community to let them know about this plan. So there was an outpouring of communication, letters being written, phone calls being made not only from East Lansing residents but from members of the community who spoke up and said this funding cut is not acceptable.”
When the amount of federal money coming through HUD for community improvement turned out to be more than expected, Biber says there was a motion to amend the budget to fund the service organizations. He thinks it’s largely due to the community support.
Biber also says they expect this to be the final year of funding from the city, but this allocation will provide them with some time to make a plan to replace the lost funding.