April 24, 2008
Commissioners’ Efforts to Regain Funding for Lower Bucks Red Cross Homeless Shelter are Successful
In late October 2007, the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) declined the county’s Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) funding to support the operations of the county’s Red Cross Homeless Shelter. The county’s Community and Business Development department applies for the annual grant. It was an unexpected blow that left a $100,000 deficit in the shelter’s budget. The commissioners acted swiftly, appealing to the governor and state legislative delegation to restore the essential funding.
Late yesterday, Bucks County Commissioner Chairman Jim Cawley made the phone call he had since hoped would be possible. Cawley notified Lower Bucks County Chapter of the American Red Cross CEO Kathleen Marsh that the county’s efforts to appeal to the state were fruitful. He received a letter from DCED Secretary Dennis Yablonsky approving the grant for $70,000. This morning, the contract arrived in Cawley’s office.
“It is gratifying that the efforts of the county, with the assistance of our lawmakers, were able to overturn the DCED’s original decision and restore funding to our homeless shelter,” Cawley said. “In our January letter, we asked the secretary for two things – one, to reconsider the rejection which they have, and two, to ensure continued annual support. We will continue to speak out on behalf of our over 400 families who depend of the Red Cross’ services until we are assured of this.”
Marsh added, “My sincerest thanks go to the Commissioners of Bucks County. The Commissioners have worked with us to ensure the continuation of our vital Homeless Shelter Services. This funding will allow us to re-instate some of the services that we were planning on reducing. We would also like to add aftercare programs that will allow us to better track our outcomes.”