DC Bails Out 5 Homeless Shelters at the Last Minute | NBC4 Washington

DC Bails Out 5 Homeless Shelters at the Last Minute

Shelters faced closure following budget cuts

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    Not a homeless shelter.

    WASHINGTON -- The D.C. government on Wednesday said it will find about $11 million in funds to avoid the threatened closure of five homeless shelters that handle more than 1,000 people.

    The Catholic Charities organization that operates 14 different social service programs in Washington had been threatening to close the five shelters on Nov. 1 if budget cuts just announced on Sept. 28 were not rescinded by the end of the business day Wednesday. This as cold weather approaches and homelessness increases in the bad economy.

    A District government source told NBC4 that Mayor Adrian Fenty's administration was "rethinking and reviewing" its budget operations and may have a formal announcement soon.

    "The District will fully ensure that resources are available to keep shelters open and meet the emergency needs of our homeless neighbors (and to) meet the gap between the local budget and the demand for essential homeless services," said D.C. Human Services Director Clarence Carter.

    The budget cuts have been shaping up as an embarrassment for the Fenty administration.  Homeless organizations are expected to hold a major news conference next week with city officials to announce plans for the coming winter months, the most difficult time for the homeless.  Some officials worried that the budget cuts would be the highlight of that news event.