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City set to receive first round of federal stimulus funding for homeless prevent


The City of San Antonio is slated to receive its first round of stimulus funding as part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The funds, totaling more than $5.97 million, will be used to support the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP). The funding, which stems from the Housing and Urban Development Emergency Shelter Grants program, will support such services as rental and utility assistance, relocation to stable housing and credit counseling.

The goal of the HPRP is to provide assistance to rapidly re-house individuals and families who are currently homeless and offer temporary financial resources to households who would otherwise become homeless but for this assistance.

“The current economic crisis has put a lot of stress on families and individuals who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and to pay the bills,” said Mayor Julián Castro. “This is a welcome infusion of dollars that will go directly toward helping some of the most vulnerable residents in our community.”

City Manager Sheryl Sculley added that these funds will help the City and its partnering agencies respond to the needs of the community’s homeless population and assist families and individuals who are in imminent danger of losing their home due to the economic downturn.

“With the decline in the housing market and the rise in unemployment, this funding will help individuals regain control of their lives and start on the road toward self-sufficiency,” said Sculley.

The City will receive funding for homeless prevention and re-housing programs over a three-year span through this stimulus grant. The funds will be dispersed through the City’s Department of Community Initiatives and administered by 12 local contracting agencies including Catholic Charities and Family Service Association.

"Family Service Association views the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program stimulus dollars to be critical in supporting the stabilization of families in our community. Our agency’s role will be to provide prevention and concrete services to support self-sufficiency of families with pre-school aged children," said Nancy L. Hard, President/CEO of Family Service Association.

Criteria will be established for targeting those that are likely to be able to sustain housing beyond the timeframe of HPRP supports.

“Now more than ever families need help to keep from falling into homelessness due to crisis. Demand for help has never been higher,” added Steve Saldana, Catholic Charities President/ CEO. “These stimulus dollars allow Catholic Charities to continue to do its work protecting fragile families.”

Earlier this year, the City identified more than $100 million in “one-time” federal stimulus funding through a variety of grant programs. These temporary funding dollars will help create jobs, improve streets and infrastructure, enhance public safety, provide for health and human services, and add a positive boost to City energy conservation and efficiency efforts.

Federal stimulus dollars are designed to fund some of the city’s capital projects
and additional programs; however, these monies are not intended to support the City organization’s fiscal year operating budget.

"These stimulus funds represent one-time dollars from the federal government and they require structured guidelines on how the funds can be used,” said Sculley. “We are fortunate to receive this funding which will help put more money where it can do the most good in the community.”

For more information and a complete look at the City’s Federal Stimulus Funding Strategy Plan, visit the City’s website at www.sanantonio.gov.