Government shutdown threatens two Kings County programs


Andy's House is located on 7th Street and 11th Avenue in Hanford.

The Kings County Health Department was gravely concerned that its federally-funded Women Infants And Children (WIC) program would be shut down.

When news of the government shutdown hit, Kings County officials were preparing to lay off 24 of its WIC employees. The lay offs will be voted on at next Tuesday's board of supervisors meeting if federal legislators didn't reach a deal by then. If congress and the president approve a temporary compromise reached by the senate on Wednesday, those employees jobs would be saved.

At the same time, the only men's homeless shelter in Kings County was threatened with temporary closure. The facility is funded partially by HUD and was in the final stages of negotiating an extension of their grant when the government closed down.

On Tuesday the Kings County Board of Supervisors approved new services at the shelter which would provide some much-needed cash flow to the homeless facility, so they could stay open.

"So we got an additional four beds that are going to be for transitional housing for the homeless population, which would be additional cash flow so Cornerstone wouldn't shut its doors during this uncertain time with the federal funds," said Deb West, Kings County administrator

"It put us in a very difficult situation trying to keep the lights on gas water plus pay staff," said Patricia Carter, Cornerstone Recovery Systems.

Cornerstone Recovery Systems, also called Andy's House, is hoping that if this federal deal goes through to open the government back up so they can get back on track to receiving their grant funding.

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