Gainesville Charity Facing Freeze on Funding from City of Gainesville
The St. Francis House used City of Gainesville funding to purchase properties that would serve as transitional housing for the homeless, but they broke the terms of the loan. Now the city wants them to pay up $50,000 or they will hold up their funding, but the director isn't convinced they owe that entire amount.
Kent Vann said they only expected to pay back $25,000 based on an email from Jim Hencin, the block grant manager at the time. In it, Hencin wrote that one property was purchased with Supportive Housing Program (SHP) funds not HOME program funds.
Vann sent that email to the city in September and they sent back a reply stating their records showed no SHP funds were used for the property, but rather $25,000 in HOME program funding.
Vann said the organization will continue to research the issue.
"I had to make some decision because if they were to freeze my funding, the amount they're giving me, I would have nothing coming in," said Vann. "I can't apply for any funding. And I have shelter coming up where I need to be able to help people."
County records show that St. Francis bought the three properties for a total of $49,000 and sold them for $180,000. Vann said that the profits received from the sales of those three properties went toward the daily operations at St. Francis House.
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