County seeking grant to help homeless

Published 3:42 pm Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A trio of county agencies could get as much as $200,000 in federal grants to help those in need throughout Shelby County this summer.

Shelby County Community Services will submit a grant application to the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs April 14 in an attempt to secure funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Emergency Shelter Grant program.

If the state awards the grant to the county in late July, Community Services will use the money to support the SafeHouse, Family Connection and Shelby Emergency Assistance programs, said Community Services Manager Reggie Holloway.

“The maximum we could get is $200,000,” Holloway said. “There would have to be a match put up by each agency in the form of cash, in-kind services or volunteer hours equal to the grant amount.”

The three county agencies all work to help those facing temporary homelessness, whether it is due to a house fire, loss of income or any other emergency situation, Holloway said.

County officials would use the grant money to support the programs already in place by the tree agencies.

“We will use the grant funds to help people on a short-term basis who have suffered some kind of homelessness,” Holloway said. “And it will not only help families. When a youth runs away and comes to SafeHouse or Family Connection, they are automatically considered homeless.

“We all work as a team to support one another and help people facing homelessness,” Holloway added. “This grant money would be used to help them with their programs and expenses.”