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Quincy to see boost in federal funds for homelessness assistance program

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  January 12, 2012 02:32 PM

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The Quincy-Weymouth Continuum of Care will receive more federal funding this year, despite the expected downturn overall of federal aid for Quincy's poverty programs.

According to Sean Glennon, the city’s principal planner, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development will administer $3 million from the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act towards this year’s Continuum of Care, a 13-grant program that provides over 260 adults and almost 100 children in the Quincy/Weymouth area support for permanent housing.

Approximately $69,000 of that grant will go toward the Homelessness Management Information System, which helps the city generate reports on how the program is doing.

The increased funding – up from $2.8 million last year – will not help the program serve more families. However, according to Glennon, it keeps an important city program alive.

The money is “crucial. It’s vital. Without it, these families and individuals and kids would be either in shelter or on the street. Unfortunately it’s as black and white as that,” Glennon said. “This is helping to keep our people off the street, especially at a time when others are losing their homes due to foreclosure or rental increases, or job loss. We need this now more than ever.”

Since 1996, the program has provided families an opportunity to stay out of emergency shelters and off the streets.

The program works with local project sponsor Father Bills & Mainspring in Quincy to screen and place families in homes.

Funding has continued to increase for the program on annually, due bpth to the cost of living and to bonus projects – funding for additional initiatives the Continuum wants to begin.

Although bonus project funding is not guaranteed, Glennon said the state has been able to continue each of the programs since their inception.

Other federal assistance programs will not be so lucky going forward, however.

For the Community Development Block Grant, the Boston offices have already alerted Quincy that there will be a substantial cut, Glennon said. Not only will funding for the program go down, but with the inclusion of 16 other communities that receive CDBG funds, individual grants will decrease.

Furthermore, Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing funding, a stimulus program, will run out this year. Emergency Shelter Grants will also be stretched further as other funding diminishes.

“Everything is going down, with the exception of this McKinney, which we are seeing an increase with these bonus funds. Unfortunately it’s because the need is so great…but unfortunately that’s the way it is,” Glennon said.

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