SafeHouse's Budget Crunch
getting $100,000 [a year], and now that's gone."
Niess-May says HUD is "focusing on addressing homelessness by providing rapid rehousing. [But] for the people who are coming to SafeHouse, it's often not reasonable for them to go into housing right away. Forty percent are sure they're going back" to the relationship they fled. "The other sixty percent are done with the relationship and need to move on, but it's hard for them to get it together, and half aren't able to reach the finish line."
HUD's grant covered a third of the shelter's operating budget and a substantial chunk of SafeHouse's total budget of $1.54 million. "We can't cut [services]," says Niess-May. "We have to raise the money." She reckons they need $200,000 by the end of October, the end of their fiscal year, and figures there's only one way to do it: recruit more corporate and individual donors.
"We've been very aggressive," Niess-May says. "The first quarter started in October, and it was our best quarter by far. We can do it only with community support, but funding an emergency shelter is an uphill climb. Right now, we have four-and-a-half months of operating funds in the bank, and we're hoping to raise enough money so it doesn't affect anybody. All trends are in the right direction."