Thursday, April 22, 2010

Council keen on giving money to homeless?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 4:30 PM

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Homeward Pikes Peak executive director Bob Holmes has been looking for money to continue a housing program at the Express Inn for some time now.

The program, temporarily funded by a grant from the El Pomar Foundation, has been invaluable; providing temporary shelter for homeless individuals willing to look for work. Plenty of people have needed a place to stay since the city is clearing out homeless camps in the wake of the passage of a no-camping ordinance.

But the program will end in a month or two unless more money can be found.

Holmes has long said he'll ask the city for money. On Monday, he plans to do just that, asking for $50,000. Holmes also plans to hit up the county.

But despite the success of the program, it remains to be seen whether Council is friendly to the idea. Darryl Glenn, who's never keen on digging into the city's reserve fund, won't vote for it.

And neither will Tom Gallagher, who says he's ticked that the city put up roadblocks to a proposed camping area he was trumpeting as a solution.

“We got no money," Gallagher said. "[We] should have let the private sector guys rehab the campground, that’d be almost done.”

Asked his opinion, Gallagher said he thought Council would turn Holmes down. He noted that Council doesn't normally fund homeless programs, beyond providing grant support. And, he said, $50,000 would only buy a month or two for the Express Inn program — a short-term solution to a long-term problem.

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