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The Kitchen Inc., Family Enrichment Center to receive federal funding

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Last edited 3:05 p.m., Nov. 24, 2010

Springfield nonprofits The Kitchen Inc. and Family Enrichment Center are among 15 statewide homeless shelters to receive nearly $1.2 million in funding from the Missouri Department of Social Services. The money comes through federal funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, specifically through expansion of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

The two Springfield shelters will receive $91,427 of that money, according to a news release from the governor's office.

Randy McCoy, The Kitchen grants coordinator, said the nonprofit will likely get about $81,000 of the funding.

He said The Kitchen officials are unclear what the money will be used for, as the contract hasn't yet been received.

According to the release, shelters will have flexibility in how the funds can be used, but all expenditures are earmarked for families with a least one child, with benefits not exceeding four months.

McCoy said he hopes the nonprofit will be able to use the funding for emergency shelter services. Regardless of its use, though, he said the funding is a blessing, particularly in the holiday season.

"Demand is up and donations are down," he said. "This just comes at a wonderful time."

The Family Enrichment Center, a Salvation Army Shelter, will receive about $10,000, said Jeff Smith, social services director for the Springfield Salvation Army.

Smith, who was promoted last year to social services director after serving for about 11 years as director of the Family Enrichment Center, said the center provides a number of programs for homeless families - including clothing, food and self-sufficiency programs - and employs four full-time staff members and three to four part-time workers.

Though he also was unclear how the money will be used, he was hopeful that the flexibility of the funding would allow it to fund as many of the center's programs as possible.

"The $10,000 I'm sure we'll be used very appropriately, and I'm sure it won't last long," he said, "but we're extremely grateful to get it at this time of the year."

The Missouri Department of Social Services works with umbrella organizations in the state to funnel down funding, said Arleasha Mays, assistant communications director for the department.

"In the case of Springfield, that agency was the Ozarks Community Partnership," she said. "The funds were allotted based on the average total (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) allowable expenditures of each participating shelter from federal fiscal year 2007 through federal fiscal year 2010."

In the release, Nixon said the funding will help families get back on their feet.

“All these funds will directly help families with children get through short-term economic hardships,” he said.

The Kitchen and Family Enrichment Center  are among 15 shelters included in the umbrella of assistance funding, including those from Columbia, St. Louis, St. Charles and St. Joseph.[[In-content Ad]]

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