It's sort of like the feeling you get when you're hoping the most popular boy in high school will ask you out to the prom, but he only asks for a date to homecoming.
You still go out with him and hope that this date just might lead to that bigger date in the spring.
That's how many of the principals involved in securing a fund for affordable housing and for solutions to homelessness feel about the council's unanimous vote last week.
At the Sept. 11 Urban County Council meeting, members passed an ordinance authorizing $2 million each fiscal year for an affordable housing fund and $750,000 for a homelessness fund.
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"It is not as big as I would have liked for it to be," said Debra Hensley, who co-chaired the housing and homelessness commissions in 1990 and 2012, "but we are moving in the right direction. I celebrate that kind of commitment.
"What the council and the mayor have done, in the words of Neil Armstrong, is one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind. This is a big step forward for this community."
Considering the many visits he has made to council chambers and the number of elected officials his grass-roots organization has challenged, the Rev. Adam Jones, co-chair of Building a United Inter-Faith Lexington through Direct Action, sees the ordinance as a win-win for all involved.
"For six years, BUILD has been pursuing this issue and turning out at every council meeting," he said. "This is a vision for God. This means one day everyone will have an equal opportunity for ... a good, safe home."
The details of how the money will be divvied up have not been finalized. A board is being set up to determine criteria for dispensing the money to for-profit and not-for-profit builders and individuals, and what the application process will look like.
In March, Mayor Jim Gray set aside $3 million of a budget surplus for affordable housing and $500,000 for homelessness.
Charlie Lanter, director of the Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention, said half of that seed money will be used in coming months for the Housing First program to get 20 chronically homeless people off the streets. The program will secure safe housing for them and set up support services to keep them off the streets and out of emergency rooms and jails.
"Housing First is largely intended to benefit the face of homelessness," Lanter said. "These are the people we all see and say, 'Why don't they go to the Hope Center?'"
There are some people who don't function well in that environment but who, when given support, do just fine in their own homes, Lanter said.
"They will be integrated into the community with wraparound services," he said. "They will have daily meetings and someone coming every day to get them to take their medicine.
"Will they all be successful?" Lanter asked. "No. But research says about 80 percent of them will be."
He is also working with some judges to get a mental health court up and running. It would create a diversion program with a caseworker to keep some with mental illness out of jail and on a sustainable path.
With the $750,000, Lanter plans a street outreach program to determine what the homeless want and need, and a medical respite place for those who don't require hospitalization but are still in need of care.
Richard McQuady, the city's first affordable housing manager, started his job Monday and is meeting with developers and housing providers to learn how to best use the funds. He will work with Lanter to come up with a five-year plan and housing assessment. McQuady is the former CEO of Kentucky Housing Corp. Jones said BUILD plans to meet with McQuady soon.
Councilman Steve Kay, who worked hard for approval of the fund, said that unlike the public library and Lextran, which are funded through money collected from property taxes, the housing and homeless departments will receive money from the general fund.
"The council could undo that at any time," he said, adding that was unlikely.
"If an item is in the budget, it is hard to undo that. It takes eight votes to undo that."
Jones said there were more than 60 people from BUILD at the council meeting and he is sure the numbers will be just as impressive at meetings of the board when it is established.
Meanwhile, that is one concern the organization can mark off its list.
To replace it, the group will select a new problem at its Community Problems Assembly on Oct. 27, when Gray is scheduled to update the group about the housing and homeless funds. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Consolidated Baptist Church, 1625 Russell Cave Road.
"We are excited about this win," Jones said. "This is why BUILD exists."