The Attorney General’s Office says it expects the Missouri Housing Development Commission staff to have a proposed solution next week for the domestic violence shelters it turned down for a grant last month.
A shelter for homeless veterans in Columbia revealed on Thursday it had also been denied for that grant.
At least 15 domestic violence shelters were told their applications for the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) had been rejected but were not told why. Missourinet has been told that the Commission has not voted on the final decisions on how the grants will be awarded this cycle.
The members of the commission include Governor Jay Nixon, Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, State Treasurer Clint Zweifel and Attorney General Chris Koster. When Missourinet reached out to their offices about the situation, Koster Press Secretary Nanci Gonder issued this statement:
“Funding is critical for our state’s domestic violence shelters. After learning of the cuts in emergency shelter grants, we discussed the issue with MHDC staff and expect they will present a proposal at next week’s meeting.”
The Commission will meet at the Stoney Creek Inn in Columbia Friday, March 14 at 9:00.
After learning about those domestic violence shelters, a shelter for homeless veterans in Columbia reached out to Missourinet to say it had also lost the ESG.
Executive Director of Welcome Home, Inc, Aneisa Sherrill-Mattox, says Welcome Home Inc. has been approved for about $18,000 each of the 8 years she has worked there. Last year the shelter was approved for $50,000.
Like the domestic violence shelters, she has not been told why Welcome Home’s ESG application was turned down and instead was told the shelter is on a list to receive its evaluations.
Sherrill-Mattox says the shelter has already cut two caseworker positions and is cutting programs. She says much of what Welcome Home used that grant for was to provide emergency motel stays for homeless female veterans and veterans with small children.
“Female veterans are one of the fastest-growing parts of the homeless population and there are virtually no services available to them,” says Sherrill-Mattox. “Our shelter, by virtue of how small we are, we couldn’t provide safe housing for them in the shelter so we had relied on the ESG for them to be placed into a motel until a more permanent housing solution could be identified.”
The Nixon Administration has also told Representative Chris Kelly (D-Columbia) and other legislators it is looking for a funding source for those shelters, perhaps using money from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
The Office of Administration told Missourinet Wednesday the Administration’s office of Budget & Planning and the Department of Social Services are looking at multiple possible solutions, but have not nailed down any mechanics.