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Racine homeless shelter facing deficit over motel bills

RACINE, Wis. (AP) — Officials at Racine’s largest homeless shelter says they are facing a $148,000 deficit mainly for the costs of motel stays for people during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization, or HALO, usually spends about $5,000 a year on putting people up in motels, usually when the shelter is full or someone is sick. Because of ongoing work to keep the shelter from overflowing during the COVID-19 crisis, HALO has spent more than $332,000 just on motels.

The HALO shelter normally has enough beds for 120 people. In March, when the pandemic hit, there were about 130 people staying there, the Racine Journal Times reported.

From the beginning of the pandemic into July, HALO was being reimbursed for the motel payments, in part thanks to public funds from the city and Racine County. But those dried up from July into October.

Reimbursements started again in October from private contributions coupled with an emergency solutions grant from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development via the $2.2 trillion CARES Act.

Still, HALO is facing a hole of approximately $148,000 related to just motel stays.

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