LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) — The Metro Council has committed nearly $550,000 to help Louisville’s homeless during discussion of the budget surplus Thursday night at the council budget committee meeting.
"We don't know exactly where each dollar is going at this point," Metro Councilman Bill Hollander said.
The council has directed the money be spent in two ways: finding a place for people to store their belongings and creating a temporary shelter for the winter, including low barrier housing.
A low barrier shelter would have fewer regulations on who can come inside. Unlike all other shelters in Louisville, people could be drunk or high, bring their pets or come in with a partner.
"How can we help these individuals function better, stay alive in cold weather and have some dignity even if they do live on the street," Jean Manganaro of Gratitude House said.
Located in west Louisville, Gratitude House is the closest thing Louisville has a low barrier shelter. Manganaro said he is concerned about the proposal and worried the money will not be given to the right people to do the job that needs to be done.
"If you're seeing a crisis that means whatever has been done either isn't working anymore, or needs to change, or there has to be a change in the guards," Manganaro said.
City officials said they have been discussing how to spend the surplus with organizations like Wayside Christian Mission and the Healing Place, both services already receive city funding, but Manganaro said he wants to see homeless outreach groups like Fed With Faith, Forgotten Louisville, Exit 0 included in the planning process.
Those shelters, Manganaro said, are some of a larger number of groups who did homeless outreach every week.
"There's so many that are already out there serving people who belong in a low-barrier shelter, why wouldn't we get some input on where this funding goes and what the comprehensive plan is to serve these people," Manganaro said.
The council is expecting a full plan for the funds by January 2, 2019, and that plan has to be implemented by January 14.
For full details on the proposal, see our story on the budget committee decision.