Daybreak Center gets a new roof thanks to a federal grant program, but continues to face deficits in part due to a reduction in federal funding.
The homeless shelter run by Catholic Charities was one of two social service centers to get a total of $255,000 in federal funds when the Joliet City Council this week approved the funding. The city administers the grants.
The Spanish Community Center also plans to replace its roof as well as do plumbing repairs with the $125,000 it received.
Daybreak Center gets $130,000 to be used for replacing the roof and a dorm bathroom exhaust.
The Community Development Block Grant funds must be used for infrastructure work.
Kathleen Langdon, development director for Catholic Charities, said Daybreak needs the new roof. But she said that Daybreak is running deficits in its operating budget – money spent on staff and daily operations.
Daybreak Center faces a $577,000 deficit in this fiscal year ending June 30. A $702,000 deficit is projected for the next year.
Catholic Charities approached the Joliet City Council in March seeking city assistance. At the time, representatives said Daybreak Center was losing $250,000 in annual funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and hoped to replace the money.
The grant funding also is HUD money, but comes from a separate program in which the City Council selects recipients that provide services to the poor.
Langdon said Catholic Charities plans to keep Daybreak going and is in the midst of a fundraising campaign for the center.
Meanwhile, she said, $560,000 in state money designated for Catholic Charities through a capital bill program approved over the summer is uncertain.
“It’s years away,” she said. “I’m not sure we’ll ever get it.”
Joliet officials at the Tuesday meeting where the grant funding was approved took pains to point out that the money did not come from local tax dollars and had to be used for programs that met federal requirements.
“It’s not part of the city’s general fund,” said Kendall Jackson, director of community development. “These are pass-through federal funds that we get on an annual basis.”