The Metro Council’s Budget Committee has approved $546,791 in an effort to deal with the current homeless problem in Metro Louisville. The funding was found as part of the year-end budget adjustment after the completion of audits of the 2017 -2018 Operating and Capital Budgets.
“This appropriation will help us deal with a shelter system in crisis serving a population in crisis. The new services will serve as a bridge to a more permanent plan to address these needs,” said Councilman Bill Hollander (D-9), who chairs the Committee.
“The Metro Government has enough growth to allow the Metro Council to increase our funding for emergency homeless assistance. This is being done in a bipartisan manner as we recognized this is an issue we must address as a united community,” said Councilman Kevin Kramer (R-11), who is the Committee’s vice chair.
Pending full Council approval, the funding will support several partnerships with nonprofit groups who provide shelter and services for the homeless in Metro Louisville. The initial goal is to temporarily find additional beds and storage lockers for people experiencing homelessness as the city gets ready for another cold winter.
“We recognize these are complicated challenges and we are laser focused on common sense solutions. I am confident the emergency temporary sheltering plan will produce a collective impact. Our goal is to make sure anyone wanting to sleep inside has a place to go. Louisville – TOGETHER, we can do this!” said Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith (D-4).
“Let’s be clear. This is not yet a solid plan to address the problem, but rather earmarking and reserving funds for a concept for a plan to address the crisis. I have great faith in Eric Friedlander and the Office of Resilience and Community Services in providing us with this initial plan. We still have much work to do and little time to do it in order to try to make a timely impact to protect this vulnerable portion of our population,” said Councilman Brent Ackerson (D-26).
A longer term goal is to develop a low barrier shelter while expanding beds in existing facilities. A low barrier shelter relaxes some of the rules for those facilities which maintain programs, food and shelter for homeless men, women, and families.
The measure moves on to the full Council for a vote on December 13th.