NHS moves will save money
Neighborhood Housing Services is reorganizing its staff and programs as the result of the apparent loss of federal grants.
The agency was spurned last week in recommendations for distribution of Housing and Urban Development money, which is overseen by the city of St. Joseph.
At a NHS board meeting Wednesday night, director David Denman announced three staff cuts that will save the organization $69,000 in salaries.
Rehabilitation specialist Jeff Buckles resigned two weeks ago to take another job and will not be replaced. Assistant Director Jo Pendleton will retire next month, and Greg Butchart, a special initiative coordinator, has been laid off.
Mr. Denman said he and two VISTA volunteers will take on the additional responsibilities.
Neither Mr. Denman nor NHS board president Roger Knapp could estimate how much the loss of HUD grants will cost the agency. Much of NHS’ grant-related income came from fees associated with grant or loan administration.
“(We are) here for the long term despite recent events,” Mr. Denman wrote in a Wednesday letter to the City Council. “We will continue to seek solutions to neighborhood problems and help people with housing needs in the coming year. However, it will be a partnership without the city, and thus our effectiveness will be diminished.”It is impossible, we have found, to fight the climate of ill will and mistrust,” he wrote of the troubled relationship between himself and city staff in recent years.”We look forward to working with the city once more toward the goal of neighborhood revitalization “
Among the options the board is considering is selling off all the organization’s new, rehabilitated and unfinished housing stock to raise capital for programs.