City to mull shelter fundingPublished 10:21pm Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Although it has enough money to operate through the Christmas season, Zion Shelter and Kitchen likely will need an infusion of money to continue operating into the first half of 2013, according to Harlan McKendrick, the shelter’s treasurer.
McKendrick, appearing before the City Council during its meeting Monday, asked the city to consider providing more funding to the shelter than the $6,000 it allocated in the current budget. The shelter had been receiving nearly $10,000 from the city in previous fiscal years.
Councilman Doug Mercer, noting he appreciates the shelter’s mission to house and feed homeless people, said city officials should discuss the matter first before making a decision concerning allocating additional city dollars to the shelter. Councilman Edward Moultrie Jr. touted the shelter’s work with the homeless, and he said he was ready to further fund the shelter. Councilman Richard Brooks characterized the shelter as a “worthy cause” in need of city support.
Mercer noted most of the outside agencies funded by the city saw their allocations reduced in the current budget. The city providing more money to the shelter may be noticed by other agencies funded by the city, Mercer indicated.
“There are outside agencies, and there are outside agencies,” Mayor Archie Jennings said.
Councilman Bobby Roberson said his concern is making sure the shelter has enough money to make it to the end of the fiscal year, which is June 30, 2013.
Councilman William Pitt said the city should do what is necessary to ensure the shelter has enough money to do its work through Christmas.
McKendrick told the council that contributions to the shelter, which started coming in after a newspaper article reported it was running of money, included a $2,000 donation.
Those donations are enough for the shelter to operate through Christmas and into early 2013, McKendrick said.
McKendrick will meet with the council at is Jan. 14 meeting to discuss the shelter’s funding needs for the remainder of the fiscal year.