The city of Murfreesboro has ended its lease agreement with Room In The Inn, forcing the homeless day shelter to find a new home after 21 years at their West Main Street address.
The city will not be renewing the agreement that expires June 30 due to a loss of funding from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency and issues with non-compliance to the city. “The city can no longer maintain confidence in this organization’s ability to take care of the facility and resolve issues of non-compliance,” Assistant City Manager Jennifer Moody said. According to a press release from the City of Murfreesboro, two complaints were filed with the state comptroller’s office regarding issues that the shelter had failed to resolve. Once THDA notified the Murfreesboro Community Development Department on Nov. 7, City Community Development Director John Callow and representatives from THDA visited Room In The Inn to investigate the complaints.
Over the next month, Room In The Inn agreed to provide documentation regarding the resolution of the complaints.
The City of Murfreesboro received a letter on Dec. 7 from THDA, which stated that THDA would no longer reimburse the city for Emergency Solutions Grant expenses that are incurred from Room In The Inn. The letter also recommended that the city end its subrecipient agreement with shelter. Callow then asked for Room In The Inn to provide additional documentation to demonstrate compliance with their lease agreement.
Room In the Inn failed to provide all of the requested documentation, according to the press release, and the city decided to suspend the lease agreement.
“That Room In The Inn did not satisfy THDA in response to requested documentation in a timely manner is troubling,” Callow said.
Previously, Room In The Inn had received Emergency Solutions Grants from the city for expenses at the shelter. However, for the 2016-17 fiscal year, THDA provided the Murfreesboro Community Development Department with less than $170,000 in ESG funding. Much of that funding goes to support other homeless outreach organizations and shelters in Murfreesboro.
“It's a bad situation, but we'll work around it, and we'll survive," Bobby Copeland, president of the board of directors at Room in the Inn, said.