BARSTOW • The City Council awarded New Hope Village and Desert Sanctuary funding from the Community Development Block Grant program at a special meeting Thursday.
The city was allocated $176,162 for the fiscal year 2014-15 from the CDBG program, with 15 percent ($26,424.30) allowed to be used on public service programs. The CDBG also requires that a minimum of $10,000 be awarded to any public service program receiving money from the grant.
That left the council with the ability to fund a maximum of two programs out of the eight that requested grant funds. Representatives from each of the eight programs attended Thursday's meeting.
"I wish it could work to where we could help everybody, but our hands are tied," Mayor Pro Tem Timothy Silva said. "We have to put it at $10,000; we only have $26,424.30 to work with."
Councilman Richard Harpole made a motion to award New Hope Village and Desert Sanctuary $13,212.15 each, with Silva seconding the motion. The motion passed 3-2, with council members Carmen Hernandez and Merrill Gracie casting dissenting votes.
Hernandez and Gracie had proposed a motion to have the five council members each submit two choices, and have the final results totaled.
"It's just unfortunate the way the system is," Harpole said. "They don't even give us even amounts that we could make three distributions instead of just two. That's a difficult thing."
New Hope Village, on West Fredericks Street, is a homeless shelter. Desert Sanctuary, on East Main Street, is a shelter for victims of domestic violence. The council praised both programs.
Other programs that requested CDBG funding included Barstow Pregnancy Center, solar energy company GRID Alternatives, the Barstow Library, homeless youth shelter Global One Development Center, homeless shelter Desert Manna and the Barstow Police Activities League.
"I'm personally going to work so that next year we don't get into this situation," Hernandez said. "I'm going to look into how this came about, and I'm going to work very diligently so we can spread it out more. Because there are so many organizations that help out in this community. We as a city would like to be able to give funds to more individuals and not be limited to two."