'Casa de Belen needs compensation for the services it provides'

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The Roseburg city council has voted against creating a policy allowing nonprofits to apply for available money.

One of those places is Casa de Belen.

The facility is a transitioning point for homeless teens and families with homeless teens, and is at the center of a big discussion in Roseburg.

When funds became available last June, the city awarded Casa de Belen $20,000.

But at the council's meeting, a split group voted against creating a procedure for this process.

Roseburg City Councilor Marty Katz says it comes down to fairness. "My opinion is, that the city is responsible for providing an infrastructure for all of its citizens," Katz said. "I don't think it's the city's responsibility to provide housing for each and every individual."

Katz says that with so many nonprofits to choose from, the only way to be fair is to not give to any of them.

Danny Lang, the Casa de Belen vice chair, believes that the organization is an essential governmental function. "This is an essential service, so Casa de Belen needs compensation for the services that it provides, the benefits that are bestowed upon the merchants, the downtown area the individual citizen," Lang said.

For now, nonprofits can attend the annual public budget hearing in May to ask for funds.