By: Frank Spencer
Earlier this year, I hoped Stewpot had escaped the effects suffered by our national economy and reduced governmental funding to homeless shelters, but we have learned that is not the case. Stewpot is currently serving 650 homeless/or impoverished clients daily. The last couple of months have proven very difficult as we attempt to fund our 16 ministries.
The city of Jackson received less money from the Federal Housing and Urban Development Agency (HUD) for emergency shelters. Therefore Stewpot’s grants from the City have been reduced from $127,000 to $38,000, a reduction of $89,000. The United Way decided they could no longer disperse funds to Stewpot’s programs which represents a loss in revenue of $60,000. In a final granting area, HUD has declined to renew funding to Matt’s House Emergency Shelter for Women and Children, resulting in another loss of $50,000.
All together the loss comes to $199,000 out of Stewpot’s annual budget of $1.8 million.
As I hope you are aware, Stewpot operates at a very lean and efficient level. Consequently, these drastic cuts come at the expense of the homeless and those in need. Unless additional funding sources are found, Stewpot will have to close at least two of our emergency shelters. We will, of course, be looking for additional sources of funding but truthfully, we are always looking. Unfortunately, finding additional resources is unlikely.
Please continue your prayers for Stewpot and if you know of any new donors or grantors, please let myself or a Board member know.