Homeless shelter receives $100K grant

COVINGTON - Covington has received a $100,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to fund repairs to a new homeless shelter, according to Mayor Sam Ramsey.

Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Ga., gave Ramsey the news last week.

"He called Friday morning and said he had gotten the grant, and we certainly do appreciate it," Ramsey said.

The money will be used for interior repairs to three buildings on Turner Lake Circle that will house a new homeless shelter run by Rainbow Covenant Ministries, as well as the Newton County Community Food Pantry and FaithWorks, a local nonprofit organization that assists low-income residents with rent and utility payments, Ramsey said.

Covington purchased the 2.64-acre tract at 7153 Turner Lake Circle for $979,800 with revenues from the sale of Covington Cable TV. In addition, the city agreed to pay for the cost of installing a sprinkler system and shower, for a total purchase price of $1.08 million.

The grant will provide additional money for repairs, Ramsey said.

"I certainly appreciate Congressman Jim Marshall being personally interested in this and getting it for us," he said.

The grant has been awarded to the city but will be funneled through the Covington Housing Authority, Ramsey said.

The Center for Community Preservation and Planning wrote the grant application for the city and will receive an $8,000 reimbursement, Ramsey said, leaving $92,000 for repairs.

"This is a good example of how The Center has helped us get additional money that sometimes we wouldn't get otherwise," he said.

FaithWorks is set to move into one of the buildings in late January. Directors of the Food Pantry and homeless shelter predict a move-in date of March or April.