Reed Announces $1.1 Million to Help Rhode Island Housing End Homelessness
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Reed Announces $1.1 Million to Help Rhode Island Housing End Homelessness

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Providence, RI – July 9, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) announced this week that two innovative homelessness programs run by Rhode Island Housing will receive $1.1 million in federal funding. The Burnside Avenue Permanent Supportive Housing and Shelter Plus Care – both of which will provide service-enriched homes to homeless Rhode Islanders have been awarded Continuum of Care (CoC) funding.

“This federal funding is a smart investment in reducing homelessness in Rhode Island,” said Reed. “We are committed to preventing and ending homelessness throughout the state, and I am pleased to help put the resources behind that commitment,” said Reed.

“With tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders facing job loss, cut-backs, flood-damage and decreased property values, homelessness in Rhode Island has become even more widespread than ever and touches many who never thought it possible. The strain on our existing shelters and service providers is greater than ever and funding is much harder to find,” said Richard Godfrey, Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing. Rhode Island Housing will serve as the grantee for the funding and will work with its community partners who will sponsor the two programs. “These funds will not only provide many Rhode Islanders with safe a place to live, but also with services like job training and counseling – a proven holistic approach to helping people get on their feet and remain there.”

CoC grants, issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), are awarded competitively to local programs to meet the needs of people who are homeless. The grants support permanent and transitional homes, as well as a wide range of services such as job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care. These grants also fund street outreach and assessment programs to transitional and permanent housing for homeless persons and families.

Last December, HUD awarded more than $4.7 million through its homeless programs to quickly renew funding to 47 existing local programs in Rhode Island. The grants announced this week build on that investment by funding new projects awarded by competition and funded through the 2009 CoC application.
The CoC funding announcement further supports the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act, which was authored by Reed and signed into law by President Obama May of 2009. In addition to boosting targeted homelessness assistance and prevention grant programs going forward, Reed’s legislation mandated that the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness produce a “national strategic plan” to end homelessness. Last month, Reed was at the White House where a new strategy called “Opening Doors” to end chronic and veteran homelessness by 2015, and homelessness among children, families and youth by 2020 was unveiled.

About the Programs

Burnside Avenue Permanent Supportive Housing

This program will rehabilitate an abandoned property in Woonsocket, to become a safe home for nine disabled men, five of whom have been chronically homeless. The project’s sponsor, NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, has been a leader in innovative housing and community development projects for the past 20 years. Housing and supportive services will be provided by Family Resources Community Action (FRCA) – a long-standing community provider of emergency shelter and transitional housing programs.

A case manager will be located on site during the day to provide case planning, supportive services and referrals in order to help the residents remain in their homes and achieve the highest possible level of independence. Residents will also have access to 24-hour emergency phone response.

Shelter Plus Care

The Shelter Plus Care program is a grant-based program designed to link rental assistance to supportive services for difficult-to-serve homeless persons with disabilities (primarily those who are seriously mentally ill; have chronic problems with alcohol, drugs, or both; or have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and related diseases) and their families. With the assistance of case managers and other community-based service support, participants establish ties to the local community for mental health treatment, job training, job search, pre-employment skills and permanent homes. Rhode Island Housing has administered Shelter Plus Care programs for more than 14 years.

With this new funding, Rhode Island Housing will be able to offer these vital services to even more Rhode Islanders – helping those who are chronically homeless and disabled transition from life on the streets and shelters into permanent living situations of their own choice. The apartments will be located in communities throughout Rhode Island and will be accessible to health clinics, community mental health centers, grocery stores, and other social support programs.

Sponsors for the Shelter Plus Care program include: Newport County Community Mental Health Center, Northern RI Community Mental Health Center, The Providence Center, RI Veterans Action Center, Riverwood Mental Health Services, Gateway Healthcare, Inc., East Bay Mental Health, Fellowship Health Resources, Family Resources Community Action, and Starbirth of RI.

Contact: Jo-Ann Ryan, 401 457-1258
jryan (at) rhodeislandhousing (dot) org

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