A downtown homeless shelter is set to receive a financial boost from the United Way of Douglas County.
The United Way announced Thursday that the Lawrence Community Shelter had been added to the list of agencies eligible to receive money generated through its annual fundraising drive.
"This obviously could mean some more money for us," said Loring Henderson, the shelter's director. "But I think it also means some acceptance by the community and recognition for the role that we play in the community."
Jo Bryant, president of the United Way of Douglas County, said the group's board of directors unanimously approved adding the shelter to the list of agencies eligible for funding.
"The Lawrence Community Shelter is making a concerted effort to alleviate homelessness in our community," Bryant said. "The list of diverse services the agency provides to its clients is impressive."
How much new money the shelter will receive isn't yet known. The shelter won't be eligible to receive United Way funding until 2008. Henderson said any new money would be used to bolster existing programs, such as case management, prescription drug assistance and job skills training.
The shelter has about $500,000, although about $175,000 of the budget comes from in-kind services and noncash donations.
Henderson said the shelter would continue to do its own private fundraising and look for a new location. The shelter is operating at 944 Ky. under a three-year land use permit from the city. Several neighbors have said they think the operation is disruptive to the area.
Henderson said he's looking for new locations but has nothing new to report yet.
"There's no question that we want out of here, too," Henderson said. "We're still being aggressive."
The United Way will begin its next fundraising drive in August, and it will run through mid-November. Last year's campaign raised $1.6 million.
Napoleon Crews, a spokesman for the United Way, said the shelter was the only organization added to the United Way's list of eligible agencies. No agency was dropped from the list.