Thursday, October 22, 2020

UPDATED: City Councilors leave Warming Shelter out in the cold

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Warming Shelter
Photo illustration by Justin Werner (Photo by Garry Knight)

Funding for the Lincoln City Warming Shelter was slashed Monday from $45,000 to $4,600 — a 90 percent decrease — after just 38 percent of the aid organization’s $12,000 request was approved by the Lincoln City City Council.

Voting to drastically reduce grant funding and rewarding the money to other agencies were Councilors Dick Anderson, Judy Casper, Diana Hinton, Riley Hoagland and Susan Wahlke. Mayor Don Williams did not participate or vote as he had recused himself.

Monday’s vote granted 14 other agencies a total of over $40,000 more than they received last year. Other than the Warming Shelter, none of the other 22 agencies that requested money received less than they got last year. Approximately $214,000 was requested and $150,000 recommended and approved by the Council.

Warming Shelter Board President Patrick Alexander acknowledged the Warming Shelter has received feedback about concerns that led the City to decide against fully funding the $12,000 grant request.

“We are working to address those as we prepare for this year’s shelter season,” he said.

Alexander said the facility appreciated the City’s grant of $45,000 last year, but felt a request for that amount wouldn’t be sustained in the future.

“Rather than seek a similar amount in this year’s budget, the Board decided to pursue a strategy of approaching five separate governmental and charitable entities and seeking roughly 20 percent of our operational costs from each,” he said. “The $4,600 awarded by Council this year will be a great help as we pursue our core mission of preserving life and health during the cold winter months.”


The $40,400 in funding reduction was distributed to 14 agencies, including several that received 200 percent more than last year. Councilor Anderson expressed “surprise” that these agencies “got more than they asked for.”

Anderson also expressed dismay that local aid organization Shiloh the Gathering Place Ministries received $45,000 this year even though it “didn’t even spend” $14,000 of the $45,000 it received last year and “still has $43,000 in reserves.”

Outside Agency Requests for Funding

Click to enlarge

 

To review these agency’s requests, the City Council created a subcommittee on July 9, and appointed Councilors Casper, Hinton and Hoagland to the committee. The committee met on July 31 in what was identified as a “public” meeting, but no minutes or recording of the meeting have been provided to the public.

On June 20, the Lincoln County Commissioners gave $12,400 to the Warming Shelter for 2018, and asked Lincoln City to match the County’s grant, according to Warming Shelter Program Director Amanda Cherryholmes. She said she does not know why the City did not honor the County’s request.

taft warming shelter violation
Taft Warming Shelter

Local aid organization Family Promise received the full $10,000 it requested this year. Anderson, and his wife, Susan, have been actively involved with Family Promise, but Anderson did not declare a conflict of interest before voting to fund the organization. Mayor Williams declared a conflict of interest and recused himself from the deliberations, as he rents his building in Taft to the Warming Shelter.

Since opening in November 2017, the Shelter’s resource center has provided more than 6,806 meals, 1,071 showers, 357 loads of laundry, 40 bus tickets and 15 birth certificates to its daytime clients. The Shelter provided 396 overnight stays last year, providing 1,179 meals to its guests.

In addition, it provides warm clothes, shoes, toiletry and feminine hygiene products free of charge. The Shelter also offers job placement services, mental health and housing assistance, and works closely with Safeway, rehabilitation centers, and county and state assistance agencies. It also partners with hair stylists and dentists to provide free care on selected dates throughout the year.

Cherryholmes said she has asked City Recorder Cathy Steere several times to allow her to give a short presentation to the City Council but hasn’t received approval.

Based on a recommendation from Anderson, $3,000 was reallocated from Oceana Family Literacy and $2,000 from Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) to the Taft High 7-12 Booster Club.

The Lincoln City Resource Center & Emergency Warming Shelter is located at 1206 SE 48th Place, past Shuckers, in Taft. The shelter’s resource center is open for assistance or donations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

To volunteer or donate, contact Sharon Padilla at 541-992-5748, or Cherryholmes at 206-713-8234/[email protected]/P.O Box 198, Lincoln City, OR 97367, or visit LincolnCityWarmingShelter.com for more information.

Homepage is awaiting response to its request for comment from Councilors regarding this story

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Homepage Staffhttps://lincolncityhomepage.com/
Staff account: Articles written and/or edited to comply with Associated Press style and professional journalism standards.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. This council, being led by self appointed mayor Dick Anderson, makes their biased decisions, on whether you are in their favored circle. Due to the fact Mayor Williams rents the building to the shelter, the tank of sharks, the council, will allow the homeless to suffer. The obvious dislike for John Forse by council and staff has brought a very dark cloud over a spectacular event in Lincoln City. Yet an employee is allowed to violate municipal codes and the city bending rules to allow the violation. This council has wasted hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a political investigation. A misuse of public money? Yes as nothing was gained or hoped to be gained for the public. A political power play and a personal vendetta for a city staff member. The hate, arrogance and total disregard of residents needs by this council is totally reprehensible. Yet two of these sharks display their arrogance by running for mayor. The entire council has brought nothing but shame and hate to this city. A recall is in order. It’s time for a huge change in Lincoln City!

  2. We absolutely concur, Jan. Though we live outside the city limits and are unable to vote, we are lifelong members of this community. Without Kip Ward riding herd over the pettiness of the mayor and council members, the city employees (mayor, city attorney and councilpersons) consistently use their positions to ram unfavorable decions on the community. Disgraceful!

  3. Oh boo hoo to Jan Templeton – Reminds me of when Garden Estates was being established and under construction, the owned and unkept lots were left to run amuck with unwanted flora and fauna and the local inhabitants pled for enforcement of the laws for the responsibility of the lot owners to maintain the those lots. Seems ‘hundreds of dollars’ was being paid to the individual responsible to enforce those rules only to be ignored by that same individual!! M. Cooper

    • Well boo boo Cooper! To bad all those lots were owned by out of go where and banks that could not be located. Why couldn’t you people get together and remove bushes you didn’t like. Bunch of cry babies rather sit back and moan and do nothing.

    • The one gentleman who owned most of the lots had cancer and was dying at a very young age yet you people wanted him to go out on his tractor and remove weeds! How did the warming shelter issue then into a Garden Estates topic that happened years ago. Pathetic.

  4. I was left absolutely stunned that during the allocation meeting, that the Council totally glossed over the allocation to the Warming Shelter and gave Shilo additional funding, citing the fact that Shilo provides meals to churches. Shilo is limited by its facility in providing a full service center as the Warming Shelter does. The Warming Shelter provides showers, laundry, and overnight services in addition to providing the services Shilo provides. Hundreds of people are served. I believe that this situation is political and not based on value of services rendered to its citizens.
    In reality, given the high population of low income people at risk of homelessness in this town, and the fact that allocations are public money, the Committee has exhibited bias and the entire process should be reviewed. Both Shilo and the Lincoln City Warming Shelter, which serve different areas of town, are doing an excellent job, and are a true gift to the community. Kudo’s to both organizations.

  5. The story has a few errors. #1 Dick Anderson recused himself from the discussions on B’nai B’rith camp but not Family Promise. Per State ethics rules you recuse yourself when you have a possible monetary benefit in the discussion. Our daughter works for BB Camp. Neither of us benefit from Family Promise monetarily. #2 because he recused himself from BB Camp, he could not discuss the Warming Shelter as well as they were both removed AND he was then not able to vote on the overall dispersal of grant funds. You can go to http://www.dickandersonformayor.com to read more or watch the video of the Council meeting yourself at http://www.lincolncity.org. Dick has responded to the Lincoln City Homepage but no updates have been provided with these correction so far.

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