Kankakee City Council Delays Decision on Funding for Homeless Shelter


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KANKAKEE, Ill. – The Kankakee City Council has postponed any action on restoring federal funds given to the city to support the operation of a homeless shelter by Fortitude Outreach. Mayor Chris Curtis was not present during the meeting.

Four weeks ago, the council voted to remove the group’s funding after receiving complaints of police interference and panhandling by homeless people outside downtown Kankakee businesses. Fourth Ward Alderman Lance Marzak was among those who voted to withhold the funds.

Fortitude Outreach’s director stated that if the funding is not approved later this month, it will not interfere with the organization’s plans to build a new shelter outside the immediate downtown area on South Washington Avenue. 

Currently, the shelter operates out of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, located just across the street from where the Farmer’s Market operates during the summer months.

The delay in funding decision comes amidst ongoing discussions about how to address homelessness in Kankakee. A recent study found that the city’s homeless population has increased by 34% since 2019. The study also highlighted the need for more affordable housing and supportive services.

The Kankakee City Council plans to revisit the issue of funding for Fortitude Outreach at its next meeting.


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