PITTSBURG, KS.--- Choices Family Emergency Shelter in Pittsburg will close on March 31st. The Kansas Housing Resource Corporation has not renewed the shelter's grant for next year, which means the shelter has lost $190,000 in funding. The Southeast Kansas Community Action Program, along with many other community organizations are still working to help save the shelter. However, their efforts will not come fast enough. Choices is the largest family shelter in Southeast Kansas, serving an average of 320 people every year, providing them with everything from temporary housing to job placement.
"It really makes me angry that somebody can sit in Topeka at a desk and make this decision on paper, but not have to come talk to the family that's holding their baby that's less than a week old and tell them to move out. It didn't have to happen and that's the part that makes me so frustrated," said Becky Gray, SEK-CAP Director of Grants Development.
Sean Ozbun works at the shelter. For more than 8 years, he has helped people find and sustain housing. With a wife and three children, he is now being forced to find a new job.
"The ones that it is going to effect the most are the ones in the program. Those that are no longer getting supportive services to be able to, you know, maintain their housing," said Sean Ozbun, Community Engagement Manager.
The closure occurring at the end of March, will displace 33 people. Of that number, 22 are children. There also nine staff members who are being forced to look for other employment.
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