The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced a $225,048 reduction in funds allocated to Madison County Continuum of Care projects. This represents an approximate 10 percent decrease in funds and has had a dramatic impact on social services in Madison County, particularly transitional housing.
Madison County Board Chairman Alan J. Dunstan said the unexpected announcement from HUD, paired with the current state budget impasse, is causing reductions in necessary services.
“Reducing the budget for social services puts already vulnerable populations even more at risk,” Dunstan said. “Madison County has programs and partnerships in place to help our residents out of homelessness. Cutting transitional housing programs widens the gap between those who can and cannot get themselves off the streets.”
Perhaps the most drastic of these impacts was the complete elimination of grant funds for transitional housing at the Good Samaritan House in Granite City, a facility for homeless women and children and those fleeing domestic violence. Madison County Homeless Services Manager David Harrison said the program suffered an extreme loss of revenue that could prove detrimental to the shelter facility.
“The Good Samaritan House faces closure without immediate assistance from donors and outside partners,” Harrison said. “The state budget impasse has forced the facility to support itself for almost a year and the sudden loss of federal dollars represents another 42 percent reduction in revenue. They simply cannot continue running under these financial conditions.”
Also among the charitable agencies which suffered revenue cuts were Chestnut Connections III and Families in Safe Recovery Enhancement, two projects within Chestnut Health Systems. The two programs assist individuals and families with mental health conditions. Madison County Transitional Housing also experienced a budget reduction of $42,766.
Between the programs that suffered revenue cuts, 14 families and three individuals receiving housing assistance were impacted. Madison County Administrator Frank Miles said the Madison County Partnership to End Homelessness is working to relocate those who were impacted.
“If not for the efforts of the Madison County Partnership to End Homelessness, these families and individuals would lose their housing,” Miles said. “The partnership is working to move each person who was impacted to other programs and match them up with resources to continue their process out of transitional housing.”