"It was purely a business decision," says William Tollet, Executive Director of the Union Rescue Mission.
That decision came about a week after news reports of the Mission's policy to hire only evangelical Christians to run the center sparked some controversy.
The Arkansas ACLU issued a statement on January 15 criticizing the Mission, saying its hiring policy crossed the line between church and state and amounted to discrimination.
Tollet says the Mission could not meet the city's requirement to have the center staffed with a director and open on holidays and weekends. He says the Mission's proposed budget to run center was about $285,000.
Assistant City Manager Bryan Day says the city had set aside $300,000 to run the resource center. He said the city intends to hire social workers, case managers, security guards and van drivers. Day says he is unsure how many people the city will hire to run the center which is located along Confederate Boulevard.
"I have no doubt the city has the capability to do it (operate the center)," Tollet says.