First Stop Dealing With Severe Funding Shortage

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - There are new furloughs in Huntsville, but not where you may expect.  Employees who work to help the city's homeless are being furloughed and in threat of losing their jobs.

That's because of a money shortage at First Stop of Huntsville, a non-profit that helps homeless people find housing and employment.

This week, five out of seven staff members found out they would have to take temporary pay cuts with no guarantee the situation will get better soon.

The executive director says two major grants that keep the organization running have been delayed, due to financial problems at First Stop's home office in Birmingham.

Ironically, the staffers here are trying to set up a job fair to help their clients, as they worry they could easily soon face the same challenges.

Tashaunda Weeks, of First Stop
Tashaunda Weeks, of First Stop

"Mentally, it's really difficult because you don't know.  We may end up in the same position that our clients are in because most of us already live from pay period to pay period," said Tashaunda Weeks.  "Just one... you know, most of us don't have any resources to turn to."

Many of them are trying to provide for their own families.  Weeks says First Stop needs at least $15,000 to stay afloat until the grant money comes in.

Any donations to first stop are tax-deductible.  You can donate by stopping by their office or sending a check through the mail:

First Stop
206 Stokes Street
Huntsville, AL 35805

First Stop serves at least 100 homeless people in Huntsville by providing meals, counseling, and training to get them back on their feet.

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