The Samaritan House, a homeless shelter in Kalispell, is raising funds to make up for two federal grants that expired and were not renewed this year.
Chris Krager, executive director of the Samaritan House, said the organization was recently one of the many programs that lost grant funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The grant program was not renewed for 2016 and many nationwide programs similar to the Samaritan House are now facing the difficult task of finding alternative funding, downsizing or even closing.
“I am pleased to tell you that Samaritan House is not in the category of downsizing or closing and is in no way threatened in our pursuit of ending homelessness in the Flathead Valley,” Krager said in a letter sent out to community members. “That being said, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this grant funding was an annual source of $56,624.”
This funding was previously used to provide housing for people in need. Additionally, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program that is administered locally by United Way is not going to be renewed, Krager said. This funding was an annual source of $5,400 to $7,000 and was used to provide food for the kitchen and cafeteria.
The Samaritan House is pursuing other grant opportunities to try to make up the difference, but the organization is also seeking community support.
Samaritan House serves approximately 1,350 local homeless people every year, sheltering around 78 people every night. Roughly 86 percent of the people served at Samaritan House are no longer homeless when they move on from the shelter compared to 72 percent as a notional standard for other homeless programs, according to Krager.
Krager said those interested in supporting the Samaritan House can send donations to Samaritan House, 124 9th Ave West, Kalispell, MT 59901, or by visiting samaritanhousemt.com.
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