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One person, maybe.

If you’ll recall, for the last few weeks, homeless service providers have been frantically trying to understand if they’ll have enough money from the city (roughly $11 million) to remain open in the coming winter months—-otherwise known as “hypothermia season.”

Last week, Clarence Carter, head of the Department of Human Services,told NBC that oh, you know, everything would be taken care of.

The Washington Post couldn’t really explain how. Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, you’re our last hope…

Wells led a hearing yesterday and managed to squeeze some details out of Carter: So in the past, DHS rounded out its homeless services budget with federal TANF funds ( Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), which were cut this year.  But now,  stimulus funds can apparently be used for TANF-related programs—and cities can apply for reimbursements.

You can get reimbursed on 80 cents on the dollar to make up a shortfall in funding, by claiming TANF dollars under a different category,” Wells says, recalling Carter’s statements. “The most he could get in a year under that method would be $15 million.”

So Carter plans to thicken his budget with eventual reimbursements from the federal government.

Continues Wells: ” I asked him, assuming everything goes right, can you recoup this $15 million before the end of hypothermia season? And he said ‘absolutely.’ But nailing that down from him was not easy. [Service providers] will need to  get a confirmation of whether they’ll have a contract after hypothermia [season] is over in March…”