On the agenda
- A two-month emergency funding agreement with Seven Hills Homeless Center.
A special meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 inside room 219 of City Hall, located at 113 W. Mountain St. in Fayetteville.
Listed below are the items up for approval and links to PDF documents with detailed information on each item of business.
Present: Sarah Marsh, Mark Kinion, Matthew Petty, Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Justin Tennant, Sarah Bunch, John La Tour, Alan Long
Absent: Adella Gray
1. Seven Hills Homeless Center Emergency Funding (Details): An ordinance to waive competitive bidding, to approve an emergency two-month purchase of services contract with Seven Hills Homeless Center with possible extensions of up to four additional months and to approve a budget adjustment.
– Pass 7-0
From the memo: “Since this would cause immediate suffering and undue hardships on the homeless and needy residents during the current winter months, the Mayor is recommending the City Council approve temporary emergency funding in the amount of $25,000 per month be used to supplement current donations committed on a monthly basis by the Shelter’s current generous donors. This would keep the Shelter in operation on a temporary basis until a sufficient funding base or alternate provider is secured. If necessary, this could be renewed for up to an additional 2 periods of 2 months based on compliance with the terms of the attached contract.
Lynn Carver, chair of the Seven Hills board of directors, said the homeless population is growing fast and the center can no longer maintain the full range of services for people who are homeless. Carver said despite cost-cutting measures that include removal of some services and staff, the center has still fallen short.
Alderman Matthew Petty said the city and its residents should use tonight’s vote as a call to action to further raise awareness about homelessness and to do whatever is possible to help ensure the area’s homeless population receives the help it needs.
Alderman Justin Tennant said with Seven Hills being the only homeless center of its kind in Northwest Arkansas, he’s disappointed that an obviously regional entity is receiving no help from any other cities. He said he encourages everyone who hears about tonight’s action to get involved by either volunteering their time to help the homeless population or donating money and other items to the center.
Council members Sarah Marsh, Mark Kinion and John La Tour all made similar remarks.
“Let’s all unite and step up to the plate to ensure that the services provided by this organization can continue uninterrupted,” said Kinion.
Mayor Jordan, who brought forth this item for discussion tonight, said he’s proud to help support the center.
“I don’t really have anything elegant to say tonight,” Jordan said. “I just simply did not have the heart to turn nearly 2,000 people out onto the streets.”