Federal Funds Delay affects Covenant House Workings

Covenant House, the non-profit organization engaged in preventing homelessness, had waited for about two months to get the two government grants seemingly earmarked towards the cause- Emergency Solutions Grant and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS grant. The promised money did not come until Charleston non-profit announced that it will no longer continue to provide homelessness services made possible by the grants. The latter had contacted the media with the news. The Charleston nonprofit provides the homeless with day shelter. It also offers poverty-stricken people a host of other services.

No money granted

Ellen Allen, the Covenant House executive director, said in mid-December that the non-profit was yet to receive the $84,000 grant to prevent homelessness. The source of these grants is the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funds, however, first pass via the Community Advancement and Development of West Virginia. This office is a division of West Virginia Development Office. The latter notified Covenant House that it may start to accrue the expenses in June. It warned that the payment may take a number of months. The organization started to use its own savings on salaries and rental assistance. According to Allen, ninety individuals were assisted during this time.

Ellen Allen said that the Covenant is now in its sixth consecutive month of federal government financing. She claimed that the organization's contact at the Housing and Urban Development office had told them that the money is already in Integrated Disbursement and Information System or WV. It means that the HUD had already sent money to West Virginia. The contact at the Office of Community Advancement had said that the HUD is yet to release the funds. She termed it as a significant development as homelessness is on the rise. The shortage of money restricts the ability of the organization to put a greater number of individuals inside a house. She continued on to say that four months is too long a time to wait.

Media result

Allen said that as soon as she told the media about the predicament, the Development Office informed her that the money is slated to flow into the Covenant accounts. Bradley Harris, the spokesperson for HUD's Community Advancement and Development Division, said that the office has already got the funds which need to be disbursed. He said that Allen did not call his office before giving the media interview. He later clarified his statement, saying both the offices are in touch.

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