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State Shelters Fund Gets 23 Percent Reduction

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The Indiana Emergency Solution Grant, which provides money to homeless shelters across Indiana, is facing a 23 percent or $700,000 cut due to the sequester. The state had been expecting only a 5 percent cut.

Indianapolis Interfaith Hospitality Network Executive Director Jim McElhinney says funding cuts will directly hurt the people his shelters serve, primarily children.

“If funding cuts, I should say, are significant enough, one might have to curtail programs, cut staff, not serve as many people,” he says.

State Housing Authority Community Services Deputy Director Lori Dimick says the cuts could be worse. She points out that because the state received double the typical grant amount last year, even with this year’s cut, shelters could still get more than they were used to the last several years.

“We had $1.9 [million] in the past and now we are up to $2.7 [million]. That’s an $800,000 increase,” she says. “So some shelters won’t feel the big effect other than they got a little bit more last year than they probably expected.”

Dimick says the state will be sending letters to shelters to let them know how the cuts will affect them at the end of this month.

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