Community Kitchen Waits for Funding for Nightly Shelter

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: David Moore
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Updated: 1/08 7:14 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WDEF) -- Members of the Chattanooga Homeless Coalition are breathing a little easier tonight after city council came up with some funding.
Council members scolded Coalition leaders for being tardy with their request, but agreed to provide 50-thousand dollars to provide nighttime shelter.
Here's how the money is used.

A couple of really cold nights brings more attention to Chattanooga's homeless than anything except Thanksgiving dinner. The Homeless Coalition was late in submitting its funding request for 2013-14, but it'll soon have 50-thousand dollars to get needy people off the streets at night.

STEPHEN WRIGHT, EXEC. DIR., HOMELESS COALITION "Well, I'm executive, when things happen, whoever's in charge has to take the lead and address the situation,which is what I've done and hopefully I've done it in a positive manner."

The job of getting the homeless off the cold streets at night falls on an unlikely agency, the privately supported Chattanooga Community Kitchen. Without any funding this winter, it's still been providing the beds.

CHARLIE HUGHES, EXEC. DIR., COMMUNITY KITCHEN "..your compassion level hits. Our staff is willing to give up and spend the ..what ever we're got to do when its dangerous."

The 50-thousand dollars in city money will got to off-set that expense, and ease the pressure on Hughes' small staff.

CHARLIE HUGHES, EXEC. DIR., COMMUNITY KITCHEN "If the city passes this amendment or whatever fore the monies on the next reading next Tuesday, then we can start looking at...we'll be open every night."

The Chattanooga Rescue Mission has only 60 beds--- the Community Kitchen tries to fund room for the rest.
It will not be open on this night---the weather is a little better, but Hughes is looking for help down the road, for those cold and rainy nights still ahead.

STEPHEN WRIGHT "The next step is to make sure that we don't..that we file things make our request for next year in a timely manner."

CHARLIE HUGHES "...4 degrees yesterday morning...and that's, nobody needs to be outside in that."

In addition to seeking local support,the Chattanooga Homeless Coalition's main function is to manage funding and grants from HUD.
It has a 30 member board.

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