Some homeless families will have a place to go during the day because of money Franklin County commissioners awarded Monday.
Community Action Connections will receive $40,000 to remodel a space into a family day shelter.
Linda Robb, administrator for Benton-Franklin human services, said the space will be used primarily as a place for women and children who use the Union Gospel Mission’s downtown shelter to stay during the day.
The shelter will offer classes such as life skills, anger management and resume preparation, said Judith Gidley, executive director of Community Action Connections. Computers also will be available.
“We really think it needs to be more than a place where the parents and children stay in a room watching TV to stay out of the cold,” she said. “We really want it to be place where they are working toward self-sufficiency.”
Therapeutic Innovations and Recovery in Kennewick is now the only homeless day shelter in the Tri-Cities, Gidley said.
Community Action Connections still will need additional donations before it can begin the renovation, Gidley said. The shelter would be in an unused area at its offices at 720 W. Court Street.
For now, the shelter will be available only to Franklin County families, but the agency hopes to get money from Benton County in the future, Gidley said.
A county steering committee with representatives from Franklin County, Pasco, Connell, Mesa and Kahlotus reviewed requests for projects and made recommendations to the county commission. The money is mostly to go toward “brick-and-morter” projects.
The committee had up to $120,000 but wanted to save some for next year for a larger project, Robb said.
Commissioners also approved money for Elijah Family Homes, which will get $17,607 to improve a duplex that two families share on Clark Street in Pasco. Robb said the windows and doors will be replaced and insulation will be installed in the attic.
“It needs a lot of fixing up,” she said.
Families stay in the homes for three years, after which they are expected to have learned to be self-sufficient, then new families move in, Robb said.
The committee turned down a second request from Community Action Connections for transitional housing vouchers. Robb said the request didn’t fall under uses for 2060 grants, which are funded with a $10 surcharge on recorded documents, but could be reconsidered when 2163 grants, which deal more with rental assistance, are awarded.
The committee also turned down a request from Habitat for Humanity to help with 15 home repair projects because members did not like that the people being helped were required to pay the agency back in two years, Robb said.