[Vision2020] Moscow offers conditional support for Sojourners'

Moscow Cares moscowcares at moscow.com
Tue Jul 19 04:32:54 PDT 2016

Courtesy of today's (July 19, 2016) Lewiston Tribune.

Moscow offers conditional support for Sojourners'
City council will allocate $12,500 - if nonprofit can get the rest of the money it needs
The Moscow City Council will support Sojourners' Alliance in its time of need - as long as others do as well.
The council voted unanimously Monday night to provide $12,500 to the Moscow homeless shelter after a loss of essential federal funding that will close the nonprofit for at least two months this fall. The aid comes on the condition that the funds will not be allocated until Sojourners' shows that it has secured the total $125,000 needed to reopen.
"We're committed to doing it as soon as they get the full package together," Councilor Walter Steed said.
In May, Sojourners' received news its $102,000 federal grant for transitional housing would not be renewed. The grant funded a program that housed families and single men and women for as long as they needed to secure incomes and permanent residences, as well as provided any additional services, including mental health or substance abuse treatment.
The transitional housing grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development expired June 1. Steve Bonnar, executive director of the shelter, raised enough funds locally to keep the shelter's doors open through Aug. 31, which he said will give him enough time to find alternate housing for his residents.
Bonnar is continuing to look for funding sources, he told the council Monday.
"Once I have the commitments needed, then I will come back to the sources and then ask for those funds," he said, "so that the funds aren't obligated until I have those commitments."
The funds from the Moscow City Council will come from a $25,000 discretionary fund set up in fiscal year 2016, City Supervisor Gary Riedner said.
The council has funded capital improvement projects and repairs at Sojourners' in the past, but Monday's award marks the first time the city has helped fund the organization's operational costs.
Bonnar told the council the loss of Sojourners' would have a broader influence on the community. The nonprofit was "instrumental" in bringing Family Promise - which houses homeless families in churches - and a Community Health Association of Spokane Clinic to the Palouse, he said. Sojourners' also provides office space to the Moscow Affordable Housing Trust in exchange for in-kind donations.
Darrell Keim, program director at the Latah Recovery Center, said the center sees about 25 percent of its budget supported by Sojourners'. The two nonprofits partner for their nonprofit status, which he said saves the recovery center about $25,000 to $30,000 annually.
"They're a great thing for Moscow and they do great things," Keim said.
Sojourners' is also incubating the Nez Perce Recovery and Resource Center in Lewiston, Keim said.
The Moscow council's financial support is the second commitment Bonnar has received. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has committed between $350 and $400 a month, he said.
Bonnar is applying for a $30,000 rapid re-housing HUD grant that, if awarded, will be available Oct. 1. He has also asked the Latah County Commission for an additional $2,500, which would increase the county's yearly contribution to $12,500. The county's final budget decisions will be made in August.


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" 
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho
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