VA providing little answers for Shepherd’s House after grant denial

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – After news broke Shepherds House was denied a grant for $496,000, nearly their full source of funding, people decided they had to help. Ken Redmon, who was out of town Tuesday and couldn’t meet, was one of those people. He started a GoFundMe page with a $500,000 goal. “I couldn’t sit back and do nothing.”

It was a pleasant surprise for Tracey Barr, the house manager. “He’s confident and I appreciate his spirit and people in the community, again, just wanting to rise to the occasion.”

Barr said they’ve also gotten a handful of other donations through walk-ins and online.

U.S. Congressman Jim Banks sent the VA a letter last week asking for an explanation.The VA said Shepherd’s House didn’t meet the minimum scoring requirements, but they didn’t say what those were. “I’m not sure where that language came from or where we fell short because from our understanding, we met or exceeded all the guidelines set out to us,” Barr said.

In the meantime, a temporary resolution was worked out. “They will continue to provide funding for the veterans who are currently being taken care of and then provide sort of a stopgap measure so that the Shepherd’s House can look at how they can adapt their program. Or look at the grant that they wrote to try to adapt to some of the VA’s goals in the future looking ahead,” Banks said.

The morale isn’t lower at Shepherd’s House because of this. Instead, they’re determined. “We certainly don’t need to tell veterans in crisis that they’re going to be on the streets that’s not going to be the case. We’ll find a way.”

The GoFundMe has $400 so far. Redmon is working on a fundraiser.

Angola restaurant owner of 6 Autumns sent NewChannel 15 a statement saying they were “heartbroken over this news” and plans to “take matters into her own hands.” So, there will be a fundraiser Thursday August 3 at the Autumns in Angola from 6-10pm.