Emergency shelter grant approval on hold
By Elsa Maxey
In January, Fort Bend County Commissioners will be hearing about the Fred & Mabel R. Parks Youth Ranch…like who it’s serving… from its director. It was the only one of eight community development programs in Fort Bend County not approved for grant assistance and placed on hold at the December 20 Commissioners Court meeting.
The youth ranch project, according to Commissioner Richard Morrison ,“is not serving our local Fort Bend kids.” The organization seeking a $36,410 emergency shelter grant is for operating a youth shelter for the homeless and at-risk youth, presumably those living in Fort Bend County. The program is intended to allow for a 90-day stay for an operation that holds up to 18 youth, said Judge Bob Hebert.
Commissioner Morrison said that feedback from Needville ISD indicated that during the past six months none of the program’s participants were local and that the school district has been accommodating kids from all over the state. He specifically cited Abilene as one of the cities after having said that the population to be served was understood to be local, also from Fort Bend ISD, which was apparently not busing kids to the youth ranch. He also told commissioners that the George Foundation recently denied funding to the program, and upon consideration at the meeting, Commissioner Morrison said he would be voting against approval of the grant funds for the program. No action, however, was taken on the grant request from the youth ranch.
Grant assistance as approved by commissioners court will be provided to Child Advocates of Fort Bend County, $28,408 for supplies and salary for a bilingual Forensic/Interviewer/Children Services Coordinator; Fort Bend County Revitalization Projects (CORPS), $228,750 to administer a home repair program; Fort Bend Senior Citizens, Inc., $38.034 to provide meals and other operating costs for the home delivered meals program in Fort Bend County; Brazos Bend Guardianship Services, $25,000 for care management services to incapacitated, disabled adults and their families in Fort Bend County; Fort Bend County Women’s Center, Inc., $29,556 for salaries for shelter staff; Literacy Council of Fort Bend County, $35,000 for administrative and operating expenses and salaries, including fringe benefits for the Student/Tutor Match Program; and the Arc of Fort Bend County, $27,667 for social and recreational activities for program participants.