Lawmakers Look to Severely Cut Homeless Shelter Funding
Posted by KSJB News on 3/28/2017 11:24:00 AM.
Gov. Doug Burgum allocated no funds in his budget.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota lawmakers are considering reducing funding for homeless shelters around the state.

The Bismarck Tribune reports the Commerce Department's education and environment subcommittee discussed the funding issue last week.

The state Legislature has given $2 million and $1.5 million the past two years in one-time funding for the North Dakota Homeless Grant. This year, the grant will probably not exceed $300,000.

The Commerce Department says that the grant funds outreach and shelters around the state. It also helps fund a central information system required before federal funding can be received.

The funding discussion comes as police found a homeless man frozen to death in the city last week.

Gov. Doug Burgum did not allot any money for the homeless grant in his executive budget. That's despite a story he told during his “State of the State” address in January of a homeless, meth-addicted man whom he met in Fargo and referred for services.

Burgum's spokesman Mike Nowatzki says that when the governor was working on his budget, he was looking for ways to reduce spending, not restore it.

April Fairfield of the North Dakota Coalition for Homeless People says the cuts would affect vulnerable homeless people. Fairfield says that people will pay with their lives if funding is cut.

Provided by CBS News