Shepherd’s House continues fundraising, awaits details of grant extension

Shepherd's house was denied a grant worth about 496,000 from the Department of Veterans Affairs, about 80% of their annual budget.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – An extension for a federal funding grant bought Shepherd’s House more time, but they are not out of the woods yet. The group will continue fundraising efforts, as they wait to learn the details of the extension.

The funding extension will allow Shepherd’s House to stay open at least another year. However, there is concern that there could be restrictions on how they use the money.

“There’s always fine print in a broad statement I always say,” said Barr.”We just want to make sure it’s going to cover our veterans going forward into the 2018 year and the new veterans, because we get new veterans all the time.”

The charity was initially denied a nearly $500,000 grant from the VA’s Homeless Providers Grant. That money accounts for roughly 80 percent of their annual budget.

Congressman Jim Banks wrote to the VA Secretary asking for an explanation. The VA said the facility didn’t meet its minimum scoring requirements. Tracey Barr, House Manager at Shepherd’s House, said they were promised a more specific explanation but right now they are still in the dark.

“We don’t know yet,” said Barr. “We still have not yet received that official notification from the Veterans Administration.”

Barr is concerned they may not be able to use the funding to help veterans who are new to the program. She expects they will learn more about what those restrictions of the grant extension may be on Monday. Barr said they are also brainstorming new ways to get funding.

“We’re hoping to reach out at the state level because there’s money for opioid abuse,” she said. “Monies we haven’t tried to go after because there hasn’t been a need in the past.”

In the meantime, the charity is gearing up for a fundraiser on Saturday. The Eagle Riders 3512 will host a bike ride and sell steak dinners to raise money for the group.

Shepherd’s Run for The Shepherd’s House will be located at 2730 Lofty Drive. There is a $15.00 Registration fee per person. Registration is from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The bike ride begins at 11 a.m. and will end back at Eagle 3512.

Steak Dinners will be sold for $14 a plate beginning at 3 p.m. There will also be a silent auction and raffles.