Springfield News-Sun

Clark leaders end contract with homelessne­ss nonprofit

Breach of contract cited in cutting longtime ties with Sheltered Inc.

- By Sydney Dawes Staff Writer

Clark County commission­ers terminated a $700,000 agreement with a Springfiel­d nonprofit at the center of the county’s and Springfiel­d’s efforts to serve people experienci­ng homelessne­ss, citing breach of contract.

The Clark County Department of Job and Family Services requested the commission terminate its contract with Sheltered Inc., and that action was approved Wednesday.

County officials declined to share additional details about the contract terminatio­n. Clark County Public Informatio­n Officer Mike Cooper said the commission was not able to comment.

The commission approved a sub-grant agreement with the nonprofit, formerly called Interfaith Hospitalit­y Network, in June 2021. It awarded $700,000 in federal funding through the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Temporary Assistance for Needy Families fund, according to the agreement the Springfiel­d News-sun obtained through Ohio public records laws.

The Clark County commission approved the funding for the nonprofit to provide emergency shelter and case management services to people facing homelessne­ss from July 1, 2021, through June 30 of the year.

Sheltered Inc. executive director Elaina Bradley said her office was notified of the contract terminatio­n Thursday.

“Sheltered Inc. has been a subgrantee of this grant for nearly two decades,” Bradley said in an email.

The Clark County Department of Job and Family Services monitors the program annually, Bradley said, and the organizati­on has no previous annual monitoring findings.

“We remain committed to carry out our mission and serve those faced with homelessne­ss,” she said. “We are currently providing services to 240 individual­s within the community.”

Sheltered Inc. is a partner in the county and city’s joint homelessne­ss task force. That group

consists of Clark County and Springfiel­d agencies and organizati­ons geared toward housing, employment, mental health and more. It was started months back to gather more informatio­n about how many people locally lack stable housing and what long-term solutions can help address the boom in homelessne­ss.

The task force is led by Tina Koumoutsos, housing coordinato­r at the Clark County Combined Health district. Koumoustos said on Friday she was aware of the contract terminatio­n.

Springfiel­d City Commission in recent months approved the purchase of the Villager Inn on West North Street for $1.7 million and the Executive Inn on West Columbia Street for $2.2 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding.

The hotel spaces are being rehabilita­ted for use as homeless shelters, and city officials said the plan upon purchase was to transfer ownership and management of the shelter spaces to Sheltered Inc.

The News-sun has filed public records requests for documents related to the county and its contract with Sheltered Inc.

 ?? BILL LACKEY / STAFF ?? The Shelter Inc. intake office on West High Street in Springfiel­d.
BILL LACKEY / STAFF The Shelter Inc. intake office on West High Street in Springfiel­d.

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