Updates will be provided as developments take place -
Earlier this spring, IFC made a significant request for shelter funding to the Towns (Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough) and Orange County to help close our organizational structural deficit.
What is a structural deficit?
A budget deficit occurs when an organization spends more than it receives. A structural deficit is when a budget deficit persists for some time, and is not due to short-term factors.
Who is making the request?
Our request for shelter funding (called an inter-local agreement) was written by a task force of IFC’s board of directors with our President and CEO.
What is an inter-local agreement?
An inter-local agreement is a written contract between local government agencies such as a city, a county, or a school board.
Why did we make this request?
Our request for an Inter-Local Agreement was made to support the sustainability of the only emergency housing programs in the Towns and County for people experiencing homelessness -- HomeStart for women and families and Community House for men. Without these shelters, more people would be living outdoors, especially in light of the worsening affordable housing crisis.
We began discussions about an inter-local agreement with government leaders in late 2019, but response to the Covid-19 pandemic quickly consumed us all. We recently resumed those discussions and have asked each local government to consider our request for the upcoming budget year (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023).
Where are we in the process?
We celebrate that we have received one-year commitments of significant support from Orange County and the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro. We are still waiting to hear from the Town of Hillsborough as they are in the midst of an audit and are unable to fully consider our request until perhaps August 2022.
James Baldwin once said, "Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it." As advocates in our community, we are - by definition - the ones doing it. We obtained these successes thanks to a lot of work by many from the IFC community.
HUGE SHOUTOUT TO everyone who spoke at council meetings, prepared/emailed remarks, or encouraged and taught us how to show up and ‘take our 3 minutes.’ You all BROUGHT IT BIG TIME with poignant testimony that centered marginalized community members and gave pertinent facts that needed to be heard!
BIG BIG LOVE to all staff and volunteers who work hard day in and day out, doing what is needed and really being there for folks in some of their very worst moments in life. You come to IFC every day (even during the pandemic) to make sure people have a place to be when they're in crisis, need support or something to eat. This is the work. This is what we do. This is who we are. And it needs to be funded and supported - sustainably.
At this point, the most useful course of action is to thank the entities that pivoted to increase their financial support next fiscal year for emergency shelter in our community! We'll put out the call for voices to take action in August or so once Hillsborough can consider our request more fully.
Orange County Board of Commissioners: firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources and Inspiration
Chapel Hill Town Council video: 36-minute video of remarks by IFC folks, as well as Chapel Hill Town Council response: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTS7rq_qdhM [Ronald Carnes followed by Jay Miller (both of the board), Jessica Aldavé (staff), Tom Fenn (board), Jennifer Gill then Jackie Jenks and Stephani Kilpatrick (all staff), and Nikkima Santos]
Carrboro Town Council video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpxZemySae0 (Our remarks begin at the 50:10 mark with Jennifer Gill followed by Allan Rosen (both are staff), Jay Miller and Dow Williamson (board), Quinton Harper (staff), Tom Fenn (board); and then again at the 3:21:09 mark with Jackie Jenks (staff) followed by Vicky Kim of the board.)