Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Director of the city’s Housing Division Dana LeWinter announce that the Somerville-Arlington Continuum of Care, a collaborative planning body of local homeless providers that coordinates housing and services for homeless families and individuals, was awarded $2,334,299 in funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for homeless assistance programs following the 2012 application process. Additionally, the Continuum filed a proposal for a new permanent housing program that would provide housing and supportive services to ten chronically homeless individuals. Those results are expected to be announced later this spring. The Continuum was awarded $2,237,821 in 2011, $2,235,913 in 2010, $2,233, 788 in 2009 and $1.9 million in 2008.
Due to a highly competitive grant process, program awards have been announced by Tiers. HUD awarded $1.5 billion to Tier 1 projects in March of 2013, and $72 million to Tier 2 projects in May of 2013. Tier two awards supported a wide range of programs nationally, including street outreach, client assessment and direct housing assistance.
“We are extremely fortunate to continue to receive support from state and federal leaders, like HUD, to provide necessary services to our residents, particularly our most vulnerable populations, and that with a very competitive grant process our Continuum of Care has again received the necessary funding to continue this great work,” said Mayor Curtatone.
The grant money provides permanent and transitional housing to homeless persons, and also funds important case management and other services that may include job training, money management training, health care, mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment. Grants are awarded competitively to local programs to meet the needs of their homeless clients. Providers receiving funding through the Somerville-Arlington Continuum include the Somerville Homeless Coalition, Heading Home, Just a Start Corporation, CASPAR, Wayside Youth and Family Support Network, Somerville Community Corporation, and Catholic Charities.
“All of our agencies in Somerville working on homelessness collaborate on this federal application together with the help and support of the City. We are grateful that all of our programs received renewed funding; this is our major source of funds to combat homelessness,” said Mark Alston-Follansbee, Executive Director of the Somerville Homeless Coalition. “While we are thankful for these grants, we are also concerned about the federal sequestration cuts that will take 5% from each one. We hope congress understands that poor and homeless people have as much need for support as the air traffic controllers that got their funding restored.”