The Russell Springs City Council approved their portion of an interlocal agreement Thursday night as part of a community-wide effort to address homelessness in the community.
The interlocal agreement, which has come before the Jamestown City Council and Russell County Fiscal Court, provides for a total of $4,500 split evenly between the three entities that will provide a maximum two-night stay at a local motel for individuals determined as homeless by law enforcement.
The agreement also creates a homeless board that will consist of the Russell County Sheriff/designee, County Attorney/designee, Judge Executive/designee, Russell Springs Mayor/designee, and Jamestown Mayor/designee.
City Councilwoman Sherry Bottom-Daniel posed a question regarding the amount, asking what would occur if $4,500 is not adequate. Mayor Eddie Thomas and City Clerk Chris Ramsey said the plan is to evaluate in six months to see how things are going and if more funding would be needed.
“We’ll meet and evaluate in six months, and at that point, we’ll know how we need to move forward with this,” Thomas said.
Bottom-Daniel also asked how records were kept so that the same individuals did not continuously use the program.
“There absolutely are plans in place to prevent that,” Thomas said. “They’ll have to fill out certain forms and there will be records kept of that.”
The plan is to only allow one two-night maximum stay per calendar year.
“What they’re hoping to do is get these folks in contact with people who can help them,” Ramsey said. “That may be getting them into a long-term care facility and get them to the appropriate facility that can help them with mental health issues or substance use issues or if they’re a veteran.”
“So it seems like it will not only provide a warm bed, but maybe open our eyes to what is needed, what services are needed on a more long-term scale,” Bottom-Daniel said. “I like that.”
The council unanimously approved the agreement.
“I think this is definitely needed,” Councilman Tom Holt said.
“I agree, I think this is needed,” Bottom-Daniel added.