MONTGOMERY – Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded $2.4 million in grants to help homeless Alabamians find immediate housing and to assist others who are in danger of becoming homeless. Included is a $204,150 grant for the Alabama Rural Coalition for the Homeless (ARCH), which serves 42 counties, including Cullman.
“Everyone falls on hard times, some worse than others,” said Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs. “We are very glad that Cullman County will benefit from this initiative to alleviate homelessness in our communities.”
The grants from the Emergency Solutions Grant program will support programs that provide shelter, legal and health services and money-management education for families and individuals who are without a residence. The program can also help these families with costs associated with moving to a new apartment or home including utility deposits and rental deposits.
“Nearly everyone encounters hard times at some point in their lives, some more severe than others,” Bentley said. “This program helps prevent homelessness by giving a helping hand at a time of critical need.”
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, workforce development, water resource management and recreation development.
“Through this program, many who find themselves homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless can take important first steps back toward independent living,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “This federal-state-local partnership provides essential aid to help Alabama families find housing and get back on their feet.”
Bentley awarded the grants to 12 local governments and community agencies across the state that administer the program at the local level and assess the needs of individuals who wish to be considered for assistance. Local case managers screen applicants for program eligibility. An individual or family requesting assistance can contact their local agency directly or may receive a referral to the program by a local shelter.