January 17, 2013
Gordon Anderson (512) 475-4743
State housing agency sending local nonprofit additional $182,000 to fight, prevent homelessness
(AUSTIN) — The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) today announced a $182,284 award to SEARCH Homeless Services, a local nonprofit organization working to prevent or mitigate the effects of homelessness in Houston.
The grant will help the nonprofit expand its homelessness prevention assistance to individuals and families who might otherwise become homeless, as well as help re-house persons who become homeless.
“Despite the fact that the state has made significant inroads over the past few years in curbing homelessness, there continues to be far too many Texans who lack a permanent place to sleep at night,” said TDHCA Executive Director Tim Irvine. “Unfortunately, Houston is not immune to the problem. But by working with local partners such as SEARCH Homeless Services, we remain confident that we can help the most vulnerable among us meet this most basic of needs and obtain safe, permanent housing.”
SEARCH Homeless Services will administer the funds through an Emergency Shelter Grants Program (ESGP) contract with TDHCA. The organization in 2011 received a $400,000 ESGP grant from the Department, funds which must be expended by June 30, 2013. However, the local agency’s high performance and expenditure rate earned it this extra funding amount which came from unexpended fund balances from that program year.
Irvine explained that ESGP funds can assist with the rehabilitation or conversion of buildings for use as emergency shelters, the payment of eligible expenses relating to the operation of an emergency shelter, and the provision of essential services to homeless individuals.
ESGP services may include assisting homeless persons obtain permanent housing; providing medical, nutritional and psychological counseling, substance abuse treatment, transportation and job training; and the development and implementation of homelessness prevention activities.
While figures vary, the Texas Interagency Council for the Homeless estimates that 37,000 Texans on any given night sleep on the streets, in campsites, under bridges, in abandoned lots, in emergency shelters, and in numerous other places not intended for human habitation.
For more information regarding this grant, please contact SEARCH Homeless Services directly at (713) 739-7752.
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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