Temple reallocates federal grant funds for job training center to homeless shelter, substance abuse treatment programs
The city received over $450,000 during the pandemic from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - In a decision made by Temple’s city council last week, federal grant money is now being diverted to helping the local homeless population.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Temple received over $450,000 as part of the city’s Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG funds, which was originally supposed to be used for a new community job training center.
But with a growing homeless population, including 7,000 individuals in the 2022 Point-in-Time homeless count across the state of Texas, Temple mayor Tim Davis says reallocating these funds to helping the city’s most vulnerable will be more impactful.
“Especially with winter coming on, it’s more top of mind to many of us for those folks that are out in the weather experiencing homelessness and hunger, to intentionally put a program in place to begin to help those homeless folks,” Tim Davis, Temple’s mayor, told KWTX.
Other city officials involved say they plan to use the funds on two specific projects.
“These funds will be used to secure a homeless shelter and to provide substance use treatment programs and other relevant programs to help residents experiencing homelessness,” Kiara Nowlin, the communications and public relations manager for the city of Temple, said.
Residents have expressed both support and concerns about the switch in funding.
“We did receive some support, some residents saying ‘this is a great project, a great plan’,“ Nowlin continued. “As far as the location, from the city perspective, we still have not identified a location yet.”
Mayor Davis says he’s hopeful the funding will ease the challenges the local homeless population faces, both now and into the future.
“As the mayor, I’m aware that I’m the mayor for all citizens of Temple, including those that are homeless,” Davis said. “To me, I think it’s our responsibility both as good citizens, and for me personally as a christian, to play my part, to make sure the homeless population is treated well.”
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