City receives $3.4 million homelessness grant

Recent federal awards for Spokane close to $8 million

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Monday, July 14, 2014 at 12:33 p.m.

A $3.4 million grant awarded this month to the City-administered Continuum of Care Program that supports housing and other self-sufficiency programs boosts the amount of federal homelessness funding that has come into Spokane in the past several weeks to nearly $8 million.

The federal Housing and Urban Development grant pays for permanent supportive housing, rent assistance, operations and support services in shelters and transitional housing, and some additional support services to the homeless population through the Continuum of Care Program. The grant will fund 30 renewal and two new projects. Much of that work emphasizes ending homelessness among veterans and their families.

“Ending veteran homelessness is a priority in Spokane, and we are making great progress,” said Spokane Mayor David Condon. “This grant helps us take the next step and furthers our broader communitywide goal of ending homelessness.”

Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest received two federal grants last month that specifically assist homeless veterans. The Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grants from the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs total more than $4.3 million.

Homelessness among veterans dropped by 36 percent from the previous year, according to the annual Point-In-Time County conducted in January.

Goodwill launched its SSVF program in October in partnership with Volunteers of America and Transitions. The program has served more than 180 at-risk veterans since its launch. The goal of the SSVF Program is to provide housing stability to Veterans and Veteran Families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Spokane’s is one of 76 Continuum of Care programs nationwide identified as high priority by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The Continuum of Care Program is designed to promote a communitywide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; to provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, states, and local governments to quickly re-house the homeless while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused by homelessness; to promote access to and effective utilization of mainstream programs by the homeless; and to optimize self-sufficiency among those experiencing homelessness. Clients must qualify as homeless and in need or support services or housing assistance to end their homeless incident.