Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2011
Media Contact:
Gordon Anderson (512) 475-4743

State, local agencies aim to bring long-term stability to lives of low income young adults

(AUSTIN) — The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has announced awards totaling $326,179 to three Bexar County organizations working to bring long-term stability to the lives of hundreds of low income or at-risk young adults.

The Department awarded $125,000 each to San Antonio nonprofits Project QUEST, Inc. and Seton Home, as well as another $76,179 to the Bexar County Commissioners Court which together will assist an estimated 300 young persons through a wide array of educational, vocational, and life skills training.

"Helping bring greater stability to the lives of low income Texans is a critical part of TDHCA’s mission, as this is the first step toward fostering self-sufficiency,” noted Timothy Irvine, TDHCA Acting Executive Director. “These awards will help young adults overcome the many barriers they face as they acquire the necessary education and skills to secure a sustainable future and break the cycle of poverty. We are creating a brighter future, not just for these individuals but also for the entire community in which they live.”

Project QUEST will utilize its funding to develop strategies to individuals seeking to strengthen their education and employment skills.  Services include education and training, work and income supports, and wealth building and asset protection.

Seton Home will provide support to youth aging out of foster care and female head of households while they obtain an education or seek employment.  Vouchers will be provided to cover the costs of daycare, clothing, school supplies, groceries, gas and incentives for completing school.

The Bexar County Commissioners Court will use its award to provide employment, training, and education assistance as well as various support services to a misdemeanor target population of the Bexar County specialty court system.  Assistance will include tuition to local community colleges, GED classes, tests for adult basic education, tools and work related equipment, and monthly bus passes.    

The awards were part of a $500,000 discretionary award for innovative and demonstration projects under the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Program and represented a portion of the state’s $32.5 million annual allocation from the federal government. In addition to these three agencies, other entities receiving an award were the Abilene-based West Central Texas Council of Governments and the DePelchin Children’s Center of Houston.

The CSBG Program assists households earning no more than 125 percent of the federal poverty guideline, which is currently set at $27,937 for a family of four. Funding for the program comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and supports a variety of direct services in addition to helping maintain the core administrative elements of local partner organizations.

Unlike most of the Department’s funding programs, CSBG Program awards are not made through a competitive allocation process. Eligible entities are designated by the Governor to provide a broad range of services designed to eliminate poverty and foster self-sufficiency within a specific service region, and each agency receives a direct allocation from TDHCA based on a distribution formula.

However, the $500,000 in discretionary awards were made through a competitive process open to all CSBG eligible entities in Texas, as well as other private nonprofit organizations, units of local government, and regional councils of governments.

Please contact the appropriate agency directly for more information regarding these awards.

About the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs administers a number of state and federal programs through for-profit, nonprofit, and local government partnerships to strengthen communities through affordable housing development, homeownership opportunities, weatherization, and community-based services for Texans in need.

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