Stewpot funding deficit may force the closing of 2 homeless shelters

October 16, 2014 in News

The Mississippi Link Newswire

header-1The Stewpot Community Services Board of Directors determined in their monthly Board meeting Wednesday, October 15, 2014 that due to a decrease in $190,000 in federal and local grants, Stewpot is no longer able to support all of its 17 different programs. These programs assist 650 poverty level individuals each day at no charge. The Board decided that if further sustainable funds were not promptly forthcoming, the Brumfield Shelter for Men and the Matt’s House for Women and Children Shelter will be closing on November 15th. This closure will result in a loss of 75 available beds a day for the homeless in the Metro Jackson area. The loss would be from the 50 beds designated for men at the Brumfield Shelter and the 25 beds at Matts House for Women and Children. Executive Director Frank Spencer said that the Stewpot Board based their decision on the fact that closing these 2 shelter would impact to the minimum extent possible Stewpot’s feeding programs, its assistance to women and children, and Stewpot’s after school programs for children. The Hinds County Board of Supervisors and the City Council have been contacted about possible assistance and their decisions as to whether they are able to contribute is pending.

The loss of these grants has already caused Stewpot to borrow funds to pay its employees for the last 6 weeks. The Stewpot Board also authorized the issuance of a press release advising the general public that Stewpot is in need of extra support to assist in the repayment of a $60,000 temporary loan which was necessary to pay Stewpot’s employees. The necessity for the loan arose from the loss of the grant funds. Board Chair Charles Parrott stated that that citizens and businesses in the Metro area have always responded positively when Stewpot requested help whether it was for food, volunteers or for funds to operate. He stated that he hoped that governmental agencies, businesses and individuals would pitch in at this time to help Stewpot keep these services open. He emphasized that Stewpot does not want to close any of its services but Stewpot is a non-profit and cannot spend more money than it receives for its ministries.

Executive Director Frank Spencer also stated that Stewpot would still be serving almost 600 poverty level individuals a day in other shelters and services but the closure of these 2 would mean a 75% decrease in beds for homeless men in the downtown area and a 100% loss in available emergency shelter beds for women and children.