What will Florida do with a $4.1 million grant earmarked for homeless organizations across the state? Nothing, apparently.
While the Florida Legislature granted spending authority to the Florida Department of Children and Families for services to homeless people, it did not provide language for the agency to actually use the money. The money in question is part of a "challenge grant," recurring grants that have provided $20 million over four years to organizations that serve the homeless. For years, the money has been distributed without incident. But this year, a glitch in the budget's language will likely leave millions of dollars unspent — including hundreds of thousands of dollars that would have gone to South Florida agencies.
Florida's fiscal year starts July 1. As the days leading up to the 2018-19 fiscal year dwindle, politicians and leaders from organizations that serve the homeless are scrambling to put the money to use.
"We just have to hope it gets done in the next several days so programs don’t have to close, lay off employees, and take people out of housing and put them back on the street," said Ronald Book, chairman of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust.
Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.