Community gathers to save homeless shelter

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Last spring, the Corner Haven Homeless Shelter in Hazard was forced to drastically cut its services due to funding constraints. Now, community members are rallying to raise money for the facility. A meeting was held this afternoon at city hall.

Hazard Mayor Nan Gorman, State Representative Fitz Steele and State Senator Brandon Smith were all on hand to discuss ways to bring more funding to the homeless shelter. Shelter officials say they were glad to have the outpouring of support.

"I think that in order to address this crisis, it's going to take everyone in the community and this was a great start," said shelter director Adrienne Bush.

The shelter cut back its services in May. Hazard-Perry County Community Ministries, which runs the shelter, was faced with several financial problems at once. Federal stimulus funding had dried up.

"At the same time," explained Bush, "there are changes at the federal level in homeless assistance grant funding that caused a delay in the release of funds and the whole application process."

The shelter has had to scale back its operations, leaving it unable to operate during the day. Police are worried what that will mean for homeless people as temperatures fall during the colder winter months.

"If the homeless shelter is closed, then the people that don't have a home, the only place they have is out in the environment, and, especially when it starts to get cold, we're extremely concerned about their safety," said James East of the Hazard Police Department.

Shelter workers say they're optimistic the community will come together to save the homeless shelter.

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