Homeless shelter in Pinellas County to transition to affordable housing after funding cut

Grace House in Clearwater is home to 80 of the 130 beds available for homeless families, but it's now being forced to close. The Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County cut their funding, forcing the largest shelter in the county shut its doors.

In October, Grace House will transition from a homeless shelter into affordable housing apartments. This comes after the Juvenile Welfare Board cut their $400,000 in annual funding, citing years of problems and financial mishandlings. 

That money will now go towards the St. Vincent de Paul Shelter in St. Petersburg. 

"This is taxpayer money," Beth Hougton, CEO of the JWB told FOX 13. "We were spending it on wack-a-mole. We would fix one problem and another one would come up." 

RELATED: Largest Pinellas County shelter for homeless families closes after funding was cut

Grace House and Hope Villages called the Juvenile Welfare Board's decision baseless and said they had already corrected their issues. Grace House leadership fought back Wednesday and laid out their future, saying they’ll still help those in need.  

"We really run a great program here," said Melinda Perry with Hope Villages, which runs Grace House. "It’s disappointing we are having to shift, but the answer and the solution is in affordable housing. If you can afford to live you won’t become homeless." 

Grace House residents will need to find a new place by October. They will be given priority when it comes to filling future affordable housing apartments if they qualify.