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Roanoke Transitional Living Facility faces $30k shortfall, turns to internet for donations

April 24, 2013|Nadine Maeser | WDBJ7 Multimedia Journalist

ROANOKE, Va. — More than 30 people, including 13 children, could find themselves without a home once again.

Roanoke's Transitional Living Center, also known as TLC, is on the brink of having to close the doors because of federal funding.

"An issue of this magnitude is unprecedented for us," said TLC housing manager Jacob Paysour. “It was tremendously concerning that we knew this was a big part of our funding and it was really, at that point, a scramble to figure out how we are going to make this work.”

According to TLC employees, this is the first time in more than 20 years that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, also known as HUD, has not handed over the allocated funds.

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HUD has told TLC it won’t make any announcement on whether or not it will receive funding until late May. TLC’s current contract with HUD ends April 30th.

TLC, which runs through Total Action Against Poverty in Roanoke, has now taken matters into its own hand.

The group has set up a crowd source fundraising campaign in hopes of getting donations from people.

"We're looking to reach as many people as possible and have each of them give what they can,” said Payour. “Just a little bit to help us will keep this running and keep our residents house and progressing towards having their own home."

The website was created on Saturday and as of Wednesday they had more than $2,000.

The group needs to raise $30,000 by the end of the month.

Stokes said, "It's always a good surprise to see how willing people are to help out and most of them have come from right here in the community."

Funding issues mean it’s back to the drawing board for people like Rubin Stokes.

"It's just like life is so unpredictable,” he said. “So you try to take a deep breath and say what's your next move and I'm making plans for that now."

Stokes is a veteran and currently lives at TLC with his 4-year-old son Kah-Yier.

"It would be terrible and I hope they do something real quick because there's a lot of folks, including myself, that need the TLC," said Stokes.

Everyone hopes the momentum will only continue. TLC employees said it will be a huge setback for everyone involved if it doesn't.

TLC currently employees 15 people in Roanoke. The agency will have no choice but to layoff some employees if the funding doesn’t come through, according to Payour.

People from Maryland and Texas have donated money to help out the facility. If you want to donate, click here.

TLC is currently not taking any more homeless people in to the facility because of the financial situation.

Employees are reaching out at the local and state level to see if they can secure any emergency funding. They believe this hold back in funding is associated with the sequestration.

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