Two Cape Girardeau agencies receive grants to help homeless

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Homeless assistance programs in Southeast Missouri received almost $1 million in grants to help women with children and the homeless disabled, among others, find transitional and permanent housing.

The grants, announced last week by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, are part of the Continuum of Care program to alleviate and end homelessness.

In Cape Girardeau, two agencies received grants. The Community Caring Council received $186,389 for its Supportive Housing Lease Assistance Program, which is aimed at helping homeless people with disabilities find permanent housing. The grant represents a 4 percent increase in funding, said Roy Jones, housing coordinator for the council. The program regularly has slots for 27 people and is generally full.

"It pays for their rent with the understanding that they will pay whatever they are capable of paying up to 30 percent of their income," Jones said. "There is no time limit on it, but the kicker in it is that they have to be working to improve their quality of life with our case management."

To qualify, applicants must be referred by a caseworker and have an income less than 50 percent of the county median, Jones said. The program is currently full and new applicants will be placed on a waiting list, he said.

The council received another grant, about $177,000, last week that will provide short-term help with homelessness, Jones said. That grant, part of the economic stimulus bill approved in the spring, provides up to three months of rental assistance in emergency situations, he said.

Jones said the council has already received a large number of applications but that money is still available for qualified applicants.

Other Southeast Missouri grants announced last week under the Continuum of Care program include:

* $137,627 to the Family Counseling Center Inc. for the Cape Girardeau Women and Children Safe Haven Program.

* $124,575 to the Family Counseling Center Inc. for permanent housing for SEMO's Homeless Disabled.

* $135,780 to the Family Counseling Center Inc. for SEMO SafeHaven in Kennett, Mo.

* $116,657 to the Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation/Bootheel House of Progress Permanent Housing in Portageville, Mo.

* $149,719 to the Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation/Bootheel House of Progress Transitional Housing in Portageville, Mo.

* $108,576 to the Missouri Department of Mental Health's Bootheel Area Shelter Plus Care Tenant Rental Assistance program.

rkeller@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent addresses:

Cape Girardeau, MO

Kennett, MO

Portageville, MO

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