Central Texas shelter funding


WACO, TX – With the recent financial issues facing the Friends in Crisis Homeless Shelter in Killeen, FOX44 wanted to see how Waco-area shelters are avoiding similar issues, and how those differences could help.

“We need to do things together,” says Larry Moehnky, Friends in Crisis Board Vice President.

Killeen’s City Council said no to allocating funds to help them on Tuesday. Members say it was a shortage in government grant funding which caused the shutdown – the reason for their request to the city.

“So basically, we lost half a year of operations money,” Moehnky says.

With a 38-year record of housing domestic violence victims and three years housing the homeless, they say more grants are coming.

“So we were eligible to apply for several grants that could be used for our homeless shelter,” Moehnky says.

FOX44 spoke with Mission Waco Associate Executive Director Carlton Willis about what they have done over the years to avoid a similar situation.

“For us, we are partially funded by the city’s Community Development Block Grant, which is through H.U.D. [Housing and Urban Development]. And so, there are certain things, requirements, for us in order to be able to get those funds and keep receiving those funds,” Willis says.

Both shelters provide similar programs.

“MHAR, Cenokor, the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Center, Veterans Administration,” Moehnky says.

“To become self-sufficient independent, and most importantly, to be able to get a place for themselves,” Willis says.

However, their differences could make or break how they are being funded, and shed light on changes Friends in Crisis could make in the future.

“We have a homeless coalition here, churches, organizations, businesses, and we come together once a month to meet and discuss these issues and how do we prevent that,” Willis explains. “We also charge a small fee after a certain period of time, and our maximum shelter today is about 63 days. So, what we do is that they get three nights free, it’s $2 a night after that. If they can’t pay that, we do issue them a chore to do either at the Meyer Center or at the shelter. After that 30 days, it goes up to $5 a night.”

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