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Housing for homeless families hinges on funding decision today

Board members of the new Critical Need Response Fund meet this morning to consider grant requests from homeless shelters, food pantries and other nonprofits hit by the recession. One of the requests would give 100 homeless families a more permanent place to live. The Salvation Army and Charlotte Housing Authority had hoped to begin moving homeless families into the vacant Hall House apartments by Christmas. The project will cost more than $700,000, and they're still about $200,000 short. Both the city and county have contributed. Deronda Metz of the Salvation Army Women's Shelter is hoping for $160,000 from the Critical Need Response Fund today that will leave $30,000 left to raise from the community. On Friday, Metz visited Hall House, where she hopes to start moving families by January 5th. "And I'm looking up at this 12 story building and I noticed that the rooms have open windows," says Metz. "And we don't have open windows at the shelter. I thought, 'Wow, our families will a window that they can open.' So that's pretty significant, I think, for a homeless program." Metz says the families that move into Hall House must have school-age children and be looking for work and permanent housing. Most of them are currently staying at the homeless shelter. They would be allowed to stay at Hall House until the end of June.