Food, shelter funds slashed

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:46 AM

The executive committee for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program for Ottawa and Allegan counties recently received notification they won’t be getting direct funding this year from the national program.

Last year, the two-county program divided about $187,000 among the local agencies it funded. That amount was a 44 percent decrease from 2010.

Capt. Sally Davis of The Salvation Army in Grand Haven, who also serves as committee chairwoman of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program in Ottawa and Allegan counties, said the local program didn’t qualify for funding because they didn’t meet two of the three requirements:

- Unemployment of at least 300 people. Davis said they met that criteria because there are about 1,700 people unemployed in the two counties.

- An unemployment rate of 10.7 percent or more. Davis said the two counties have a combined 10 percent rate.

- A poverty level greater than 15.8 percent. Davis said the two counties have a combined 15.4 percent poverty rate.

Davis said they want those kinds of numbers to go down, but it’s heartbreaking to not meet the requirements because they still see a need for the program's services.

The lack of direct funding means The Salvation Army of Grand Haven won’t have about $12,000 to help with rent assistance, but Davis said the local corps plans to keep its emergency housing open.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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