Scottsdale Independent

Maricopa Regional Continuum of Care benefits from federal grant

Newly-awarded federal funding will help the Maricopa region provide housing and services to people experiencing homelessness and will help homeless families, youth and people who are chronically homeless to obtain permanent housing.

On Thursday, Jan. 11, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced Continuum of Care program grant funding to help end homelessness and provide critically needed support to local programs serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness, a press release states.

The Maricopa Regional Continuum of Care got $25.89 million for 41 local homelessness programs. Last year, the region earned $25.4 million, according to a press release.

Although the overall award increased, not all Continuum of Care-recommended projects received funding.

“It is great news to have the federal government continue its investment toward solutions in the region,” Valley of the Sun United Way Vice President of Community Impact Amy Schwabenlender, co-chair of the Continuum of Care Board, said in a prepared statement.

“At the same time, we know that the award does not meet all of the needs of the community. We are working with the programs that lost funding to ensure that their clients move into housing and not back to the streets. “It is important for state, local and private sector partners to bring additional resources to the table to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness and those at risk of becoming homeless.”

Chandler Vice Mayor Kevin Hartke, co-chair of the Continuum of Care Board, noted the importance of the two new projects funded by HUD.

A Permanent Supportive Housing project funded in the amount of $346,797 will help those experiencing chronic homelessness. A Rapid Re-Housing project in the amount of $347,990 is targeted toward families.

“These are much-needed resources for our region,” Mr. Hartke said in a prepared statement . “This funding will provide housing units and services to families experiencing homelessness and the chronically homeless population.”

MAG Regional Council Chair and Buckeye Major Jackie Mack said there have been a large increase of unsheltered homeless people in the region.

“We are grateful to have the federal government partner with local communities in our efforts to end homelessness,” Mr. Mack said in a prepared statement.

“Funding for these programs will provide much-needed help to get people back on their feet and into permanent housing. At the same time, we are also very aware that homelessness is increasing in our communities and we are working hard to develop solutions that will keep people safe.”

The funding will support the following:

37 programs that provide housing and services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

$855,158 for the Coordinated Entry project to prioritize and place individuals and families in appropriate housing.

Funding for Continuum of Care planning and implementing the Homeless Management Information System, a local information technology system used to collect data on the provision of housing and services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

The funding was included in $2 billion in grants which HUD announced Thursday, Jan. 11, to provide funding to 7,300 local homeless housing and service programs across the U.S.