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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.
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…”