Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Housing Opportunities reapplies for grant to buy homeless shelter

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Several Porter County social service agencies are working to find alternative housing for homeless families, as one of the county’s shelters undergoes a transition in ownership.

Earlier this summer, Christian Community Action, the owners of the Spring Valley Homeless Shelter, accepted an offer from another non-profit, Housing Opportunities, Inc., to purchase the 28-unit facility located on Calumet Avenue in Valparaiso.

HO’s offer, however, was contingent upon it being awarded a grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. That grant was rejected, but HO has re-applied and is pursuing other grant opportunities as well, said Kevin Feldman, HO’s Resource Development Director.

In the meantime, HO, CCA and Porter-Starke Services are working together to place the homeless families at the shelter. Feldman said the agencies managed to find alternative housing for most of the residents, though a few families continue to be there.

Feldman noted that there is currently no funding in place for maintenance of the facility, and that HO and Porter Starke are currently tapping their own operating funds to manage the shelter during the transition.

He emphasized that until the fate of the shelter becomes more certain, the agencies are committed to finding new and improved housing for the residents.

“Nobody in this process is being made homeless or will be homeless,” he said.

The Spring Valley shelter consists of 28 units for the homeless. HO’s plans called for converting 16 of those units into rentals for low-income families, including those at the shelter. Those with little or no income could qualify for the homeless units.

HO, which has long had a relationship with Spring Valley, stepped in and offered to buy the shelter after it became known that CCA could no longer continue to operate the facility. HO has reapplied for the grant and is pursuing other funding possibilities as well to proceed with its plans, Feldman said.

In the meantime, an informational breakfast, as announced earlier this summer, will be held Tuesday at 8 a.m. at Strongbow Inn in Valparaiso. The breakfast is expected to include an update on the homeless shelter’s transition.


Posted 8/9/2010






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