Common ground in money dispute Broward, homeless center find common ground in money dispute

by Jacqueline Charles
Herald Staff
May 19, 1999

Broward County and the operators of its newest Homeless Assistance Center have settled their differences, ending five months of bickering over funding that threatened the center's future.

Under that agreement, Broward Partnership for the Homeless (BPHI), will repay its $2.3 million construction loan from the county in 3.5 years and receive $2.3 million from the county to operate the center in the coming budget year. The following year, the county will fund it $2.2 million and then $2 million in the remaining year.

Whatever additional money the operators need they will have to raise from other sources.

The funding isn't as much as the partnership had initially proposed, but officials agreed to the new terms during recent negotiations with County Commissioner John Rodstrom.

"The agreement is a victory for everyone in our community," said Bill Keith, chairman of the partnership. "We can now turn our full attention to helping those in need."

As part of the deal, the county also awarded the partnership a challenge grant calling for the county to match any fundraising dollars the center receives.

County staff said the operatos of the 200-bed homeless shelter at 920 NW Seventh Ave. had been battling over money owed to the county by the center, and over the center's funding request. Rodstrom was assigned to mediate.

The 3-month-old center houses single men and women and plans to begin accepting families at the beginning of June.

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