MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - The Central City AIDS Network has provided housing and support services to people with HIV and AIDS in the 23-county region since 1984, but soon, more than 50 families could be left homeless.
The organization is set to lose 90% of its funding after a grant application went wrong.
"I did receive a call back afterwards, about a week later, telling us that because we missed that deadline, we would not be able to apply," says CCAN executive director, Michael Leon.
Leon took over two years ago, but he says this was his first time applying for a grant with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
CCAN founder and former executive director, Johnny Fambro, says the yearly process has changed since he retired as executive director two years ago.
"DCA went to this online application," says Fambro. "Then the IT department decided that we needed notice of intent."
It's a three-step process:
The first is an intent to apply. The second is organizational paperwork--financial statements, by-laws, board meeting minutes, etc. The last step is the actual grant application.
Leon made the first deadline but missed the second while he says he was working on the grant application.
"My focus was on the March 30 date, which is the date for the final grant," says Leon.
"They had a local workshop to update on the new way of doing things," says Fambro. "I was in the hospital and didn't attend, but he (Leon) went and he was just unclear."
Now without more than $600,000, the organization that helps people suffering from HIV and AIDS could be forced to put 300 people out on the streets.
"I have at least 10 staff members, including myself, who'll be out of a job," says Leon.
"It's really difficult for me to see that a state agency using federal dollars coming into the state of Georgia would allow 300+ people to be homeless or that they would be at-risk to homelessness, over a paperwork snafu," says Fambro.
Both Leon and Fambro say the organization should be eligible to apply for funding again next year, but now the question is what to do until then.
CCAN was granted an extension on the current grant cycle through October 31. That'll give them time to seek additional funding and find places for all the displaced people to go.
Leon says DCA invited River Edge Behavioral Health Center in Macon to help out, but their program will serve mainly Bibb and Baldwin Counties. Of course, that leaves out the other 21 counties CCAN currently serves.
River Edge didn't return our phone call.