The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) voted to fund two shortfalls, totaling $500,000, in GRACE Marketplace’s budget for next year, filling a gap left by the city of Gainesville.
Because of Gainesville’s budget constraints, GRACE Marketplace lacked $150,000 for its emergency shelter and $350,000 for its street outreach team. The shelter would have continued next year without the full funding but reduced the bed county by 10. The outreach team, however, would have ended in November without the funding.
The BOCC and Gainesville City Commission discussed the item last week at its joint meeting, and the BOCC decided to fund the $150,000. But the county waited until Tuesday to decide on the $350,000 portion for the outreach team, considering taking over the team itself.
The motion for the outreach team gives GRACE one-time funding to keep the program for another year, and in that year, the BOCC plans to meet with the city and GRACE to create a plan for a county-wide outreach program.
The motion directs county staff to return with a plan for that program, and Tommy Crosby, assistant county manager, said that new program will enter the county’s budget like any other and elbow for funding.
Commissioner Chuck Chestnut was the lone dissent on the motion.