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Springfield transitional housing proposal set to lose city funding

Brian Bull
Ann's Heart Women's Shelter seeks to provide transitional housing for women who are homeless.

The City of Springfield is set to pull funding from a new transitional housing project, citing concerns over its scope.

In April, the Springfield City Council approved up to $620,000 towards the non-profit Ann’s Heart, for the purchase of a house that would be used as a women’s shelter.

To receive the funding, Ann’s Heart needed to develop a plan and be approved from the City Manager’s office.

At a meeting Monday, City Manager Nancy Newton said the organization’s plan lacked details about drug use, security and noise complaints. And she said the budget did not appear sustainable.

“I have to be a wise financial steward of the public's resources,” said Newton. “And it would be irresponsible to start a program, purchase a home and have it fail.”

Ann’s Heart has also obtained county funding for a low-barrier shelter, which requires them to accept families and individuals using drugs. Newton said this is beyond what the city approved.

Multiple councilors voiced their support for Newton’s recommendation, but said they hope to work with Ann’s Heart in the future.

Councilor Steve Moe said this was a popular proposal that should have proceeded.

“I'm just looking at the wishes that they've had for so long and were working towards,” he said, “and suddenly it's not going to happen.”

Springfield City Council will now consider alternative ways to use the $620,000 they received from the federal government. The city must expend the money by next June.

Ann’s Heart did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nathan Wilk is a freelance reporter, a former reporting intern and a graduate from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. He began in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon.