New Directions Receives Temporary Funding from City of Jacksonville

By Benjamin Cox on June 28, 2022 at 10:37am

The Jacksonville City Council voted to donate to a local homeless shelter to keep its operations going for the next three months.

The City Council approved by a 9-0 vote to give $10,000 a month for the next 3 months to New Directions Warming & Cooling Center. The $10,000 a month is equal to the operations budget for the shelter.

New Directions Executive Director Sarah Robinson says the funding allows the shelter to continue to seek other revenue streams: “We’re excited. We absolutely had to have this. So, to know this is going to happen, I mean it’s a relief and we are very pleased.”

Robinson says they are still working out the details and awaiting information from the State of Illinois after being announced as a R3 grant recipient: “With the new grant, we do need to find out a little more about the stipulations about how we can spend those funds. We haven’t gotten all of our details yet, but we are definitely moving forward with that. We will continue to look for other funding sources, as well.”

Members from the shelter explained that approximately $37,000 of the new grant that totaled just under $58,000 from the state will be used for extending hours for current staff and to have more staff on hand at night. The other $20,000 of the grant has been earmarked for creating a new assistant director position since Robinson only works part time.

Ward 5 Alderman Don Cook who acted as Mayor pro temp in the absence of Andy Ezard last night says that the city will look to draw their funds from American Rescue Plan Act funding. Adam Whithee of Zumbalen, Eyth, Surratt, Foote, and Flynn gave the city a clean audit report prior to the discussion on the shelter. Cook is also chairman of the city’s Finance/I.T. committee.

Cook says the city will explore the options with ARPA funds first: “It possibly could be there. If not, then, we will look at the General Fund as Adam Whithee told us. We are in pretty good shape right now with 9-11 months of money. We’re doing good.”

New Directions will be providing extended reporting to the City of Jacksonville during the 3 months of funding, showing the city how the funds are being spent and how many people they serve.

Robinson says that she and members of the New Directions Board have meetings scheduled for discussions of possible funds being raised from the Village of South Jacksonville and the Morgan County Commissioners starting next month.