County wins grant for ‘supportive’ homeless housing

Mayor Ignacio Velazquez (left) leaned next to a tent to ask if there was anyone inside. The homeless could only be counted if they were seen on the day of the census during the hours of the count. John Wolgamott (right) was the group's homeless guide who

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $2.1 million to Monterey and San Benito counties’ homeless programs last week to increase street outreach and housing options.
San Benito County was awarded about $214,000 to provide permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals or families, explained Enrique Arreola, the deputy director of the San Benito CountyCommunity Services and Workforce Development, in an email.
“The grants awarded are critical investments in local homeless programs and services and can mean the difference between homeless persons and families finding and maintaining stable housing or living on the streets,” said Katherine Thoeni, the executive officer of the Marina-based Coalition of Homeless Services Providers,in a press release.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of HUD. Ending homelessness is a stated vision of HUD and the Obama administration.
The grants awarded will go to eight local agencies to fund 14 homeless programs. Among the honorees are the Housing Authority of the County of Monterey, Veteran’s Transition Center, Shelter Outreach Plus, Central Coast HIV/AIDS Services, Interim, Inc., Community Human Services, Salvation Army-Monterey Peninsula Corps and the County of San Benito-Helping Hands Program.

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