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Holy Cross ends some homeless services in Lansing, other organizations step up

Posted at 8:13 PM, Dec 17, 2021

Holy Cross Services, the social service agency that runs the New Hope Community Center in Lansing, is going to stop providing a variety of homeless services, but those will be picked up by other organizations.

“Do I think there is sufficient housing for mid-Michigan families? No, I don’t,” said Rawley Van Fossen, the executive director of the Capital Area Housing Partnership.

Holy Cross Vice President of Marketing and Communications Kassie Kretzschmar said in a written statement that, “the agency overextended our actual capabilities by taking on too many programs and services.”

Kretzschmar further states that the pandemic had a significant impact on Holy Cross Services, which was “forced to review its staffing and programs across the State of Michigan…due to the financial tough times it has been hit with.”

Therefore, the Continuum of Care, a group of over 25 non-profit organizations and local governments in Ingham County, is working out a solution.

“Capitol area Housing Partnership in the Lansing Housing Commission are stepping in on an interim basis to ensure that the day-to-day operations continue,” Van Fossen said.

While the Capitol Area Housing Partnership will administer the Housing Assessment Resource Agency Program, the Lansing Housing Commission will take over four grants.

“The termination of those four grants were not only going to impact 80 plus families in the Lansing area. It also impacted landlords where those families live,” said Douglas Fleming, the executive director of the Lansing Housing Commission.

Fleming said the grants will give them an opportunity to provide funding for homeless people in the community. Previously, the Lansing Housing Commission has primarily worked with low-income people on long-term solutions.

The grants include two permanent housing grants for families and two rapid re-housing grants that provide temporary housing solutions for those in need, as well as for people with addiction disorders.

“We are also assuming 20 plus employees that are currently employed through the grants by Holy Cross which will almost double our staff,” Fleming said.

Van Fossen emphasized that “this is an issue that we have to solve together.”

In the summer of 2022, the grants will be re-administered, which gives other organizations the chance to apply to run them.

In the meantime, Holy Cross Services will continue its main emergency services, including overnight and day shelter, community kitchen and the veterans housing program.

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