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Lubbock county grants Open Door nearly $1 million in American Rescue Plan funds

This is the first allocation of $116 million the county received from the federal government earlier this year.
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 8:46 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Today, Lubbock County granted nearly $1 million to Open Door, which provides transitional housing and support for those experiencing homelessness, and adult survivors of sex trafficking and their children. This is the first allocation of funds from the $116 million Lubbock received earlier this year from the federal government for COVID relief.

Chad Wheeler with Open Door requested what he called “rescue funds” for the non-profit Open Door at today’s Commissioner’s meeting. Due to the pandemic, their funding from the state has been decreased significantly, and can not provide money for the upcoming fiscal year. Wheeler says because survivor housing contract renewal dates are approaching, this money from the county is crucial.

“Without rescue funds in place, the women and children who are in the program right now, roughly twenty, twenty-three I think was the last number I heard, who are in our housing program right now will face eviction as early as October 1.”

The Crime Victims Fund, which has been funding Open Door, receives funding through fees and fines collected through court cases. With most courts shuttered last year, that money’s mostly gone. Recent legislation passed this summer hopes to solve this issue, however, Wheeler says despite that being good news long-term, it will not fix the immediate situation.

“We’re applying for some other funding sources, but they wont start until the fall of 2022, so we are really looking for gap funding between now and the fall of 2022.”

County judge Curtis Parrish says the Commissioners Court has been collecting many requests for ARPA funds and planned to review each this upcoming fall. However, Judge Parrish says Open Door was an emergency exception due to the situation being time-sensitive. Parrish says he and the court are honored to help this organization due to the amazing services they provide survivors.

“These are women and families that have been involved in prostitution, and they draw them out, and they give them a place to stay, they take care of their utilities, and plus get them into counseling and job-training services,” says Judge Parrish.

This one-time payment will allow Open Door to operate for a whole year, based on last year’s numbers. Wheeler says Open Door is hopeful money from the Crime Victims fund will return for the next fiscal year.

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