OGDEN -- St. Anne's Center can better help homeless families after receiving on Wednesday $100,000 from the Weber County Homeless Trust Fund.
This is the first money from the trust fund to help the homeless, said Bill Cochran, chairman of the fund's board of trustees. The fund was established in 2004, when Ogden sold a building at what is now Business Depot Ogden and set aside the proceeds of $1.3 million.
Cochran said all money from the sale has now been collected and invested through local banks. The trust fund will distribute money it earns in interest to help homeless agencies and causes.
This $100,000, which was donated to United Way of Northern Utah for distribution to St. Anne's, will be used to maintain the shelter's overflow for families in the Salvation Army's former drug rehabilitation facility.
St. Anne's set up the overflow earlier this year in what was supposed to be a temporary deal, but St. Anne's Director Jennifer Canter said it hasn't worked out that way.
In the last four months, the overflow shelter has seen 32 families.
"We filled it up in the first month, and it's never (empty). ... Even though we're rehousing them within 20 days, we always have a new one waiting to get in," she said.
St. Anne's original shelter had only a couple of family rooms, but has been deluged with homeless families and men or women with children in the past two years because of the national housing crash and recession.
Single men with children could not be housed, and only a few women with children could be housed. Husbands and wives could not be sheltered together with their children, either.
With the new overflow, there is room for eight families.
St. Anne's is still in the middle of a drive to raise another $3.5 million to build a new shelter, which will include family rooms.
Canter said she hopes construction on that can begin next year.
Until then, she said, the $100,000 grant will allow her to keep the overflow family shelter open. The money pays the Salvation Army for use of the building, plus covers security staff and utilities.