Nonprofit Newswire | House Poor Homeless Shelters

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February 3, 2010; Atlanta Journal-Constitution | In Atlanta one of the city’s biggest shelters, run by the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, is being foreclosed on by Ichthus Community Trust which just purchased the loan from two nonprofit lenders, Mercy Housing and Institute for Community Economics. Apparently the shelter was not able to meet a balloon payment a year ago and it now has only one month to come up with a half million dollars. The shelter seems to have a tenuous relationship with the City of Atlanta whose spokesperson confirmed that the city was unhappy with the shelter’s policy of sheltering without requiring treatment. Meanwhile in Jeffersonville, Indiana, the homeless shelter, Haven House is being auctioned off by the IRS next month to pay back payroll taxes amounting to approximately $300,000. This is a long standing situation dating back to 2003 and an apparent textbook case of an organization being in over its head “It’s behind on paying its state filing fees, listed as “administratively dissolved” on the Indiana Secretary of State’s Web site. And, Anderson said, it’s been two months since its employees have been paid.” Not a promising picture. Still the organization has 160 days after the sale to “redeem” the facility by paying its tax bill. While Haven House is clearly an extreme case of mismanagement, we are all likely to see a number of failures with responsible organizations that are facilities intensive—and bearing very high fixed costs over this next year as revenues continue to be depressed.—Ruth McCambridge