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County Council allocates money to help people in need

St. Charles County is giving slightly more money than last year to slightly fewer charitable and nonprofit organizations that help people in St Charles County.

The County Council approved allocating $318,500 in grant funding at its Jan. 9 meeting to organizations providing services, medicine and food, transportation, housing and utility assistance, case management and other services for the 2017 fiscal year, which began Jan. 1. Last year, the county allocated $315,000 in charitable funding.

The funding is allocated to three funds set up in the county’s budget – homeless, indigent and Project CARE [Community Assistance Relief Effort]. Local nonprofit organizations apply each year for funding to the county’s Community Assistance Board that includes nine citizen members appointed by the county executive.

The board reviews the applications and recommends funding allocations to the council, which has the final decision on funding.

The funding for the county’s largest fund, the homeless fund, is derived from a $3 fee on all recorded documents in the county that was approved by voters in 1991.

County officials say that allocations from this fund have been down in recent years because the number of transactions going through the county recorder’s office decreased due to a slowdown in the economy from the recession.

The indigent fund’s source is the county’s general fund. Project CARE is a relatively new fund, established in 2014, that allows residents to make donations when they pay their taxes.

This year, the council approved $250,000 in allocations from the homeless fund to 10 organizations, $40,000 to six organizations and $3,500 in Project CARE funding. The county also allocated $25,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant [CDBG] funding.

Last year, the county allocated $247,500 in homeless fund money to 12 organizations, $40,000 in indigent fund money to seven organizations, $2,500 on Project Care funding and $25,000 in CDBG funding.

Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service of St. Charles, which provides housing assistance, case management and outreach, received the largest allocation of funding for 2017 – $61,812.50, 50 from the homeless fund, $4,300 from the indigent fund and $3,500 from Project CARE. That’s down from 2016 when the care service received $61,545 from the homeless fund, $6,257 from the indigent fund and $2.500 from Project CARE, and $25,000 in CDBG funding.

LINC, a nonprofit in Wentzville that provides a variety of services including homeless prevention, transportation and other assistance, received $33,250 in homeless funding.

Other agencies receiving allocations from the homeless fund include $29,187.50 for the Salvation Army, $27,250 for Youth in Need, $24,562.50 for Our Lady’s Inn, $22,125 for Crisis Nursery, $15,312.50 for the North East Community Action [NECAC], $13,812.50 for Crider Center, $12,687.50 for Habitat for Humanity and $10,000 for Turning Point Domestic Violence.

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