Financial assistance

The Jacksonville shelter continues its search for financial aid

A Jacksonville homeless shelter that received money from the city council remains seeking additional financial support.

Sarah Robinson, director of New Directions Warming & Cooling Center, 100 S. Fayette St., said the shelter continues to look for ways to receive additional money to keep its doors open.

The city previously agreed in late June to give the shelter $30,000, spread over three months. Robinson said New Directions received its first $10,000 payment this week.

“…Without this funding, we wouldn’t have made it to the end of the month financially,” she said, “so with their help, we keep going.”

Robinson said the shelter also received donations from area churches and businesses after hearing about the shelter’s issues, including money and supplies.

As part of the deal, the city council asked New Directions to look for other ways to support themselves, including seeking help from South Jacksonville and Morgan County. Robinson said the shelter has spoken to both county commissioners and the village government, although neither has committed to donating funding.

Robinson also said New Directions expects to receive a grant application this week for money available for programs in areas “affected by violence, over-incarceration and economic disinvestment.” If approved, the shelter will be able to use the money this year.

New Directions had also submitted applications for grants that would be available in 2023, Robinson said. As for fundraising, she said the shelter will partner with the Jacksonville Lions Club.

Robinson said New Directions had been operating at near capacity for weeks, with nine of its 10 beds – five for men and women – being occupied. She said the shelter normally has 20 beds available, but social distancing guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had forced them to cut the number available in half.