New Directions Seeks Financial Assistance From City

By Benjamin Cox on December 20, 2021 at 10:28am

New Directions Warming & Cooling Shelter is asking the City of Jacksonville to help with their finances.

The homeless shelter, which has been in operations for the past 11 years, reopened in June after shutting down due to COVID-19.

New Directions Board Member Gina Eckhouse appealed to the City Council on December 13th to help the shelter stay afloat financially for the upcoming year: “The last few years have been very trying financially. Our United Way grant has been significantly reduced, and this is our only consistent form of income. The rest of our funding comes from donations from the community, businesses, as well as individual citizens. People have been very generous to us, but it is still just not enough. With the staff being the largest portion of our budget, we have felt significant impact with the increase of the minimum wage.”

Eckhouse requested $100,000 from the city to get them through the upcoming year to pay for the staffing at the center. She says the one-time payment will allow New Directions to comfortably pursue other grants and funding opportunities while maintaining their level of service to the city.

The city council did not indicate when they will give an answer to the request. Mayor Andy Ezard suggested that the council return to the discussion at their next regular meeting in January.