City awarded grant to fight homelessness

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Fresh into the hands of city leaders, a new take on curbing homelessness will soon arrive in Montgomery by way of an $860,000 check from Uncle Sam.

"We've spent most of the efforts on homelessness by dealing with the people who are already homeless, so this is a way to deal with things before they get out of hand," explained Ken Groves, Director of Montgomery's Department of Planning and Development.

The move will provide temporary housing assistance to people who--among other things--face impending evictions, live in condemned housing, or fall victim to a sudden or significant loss of income.

"They have to be imminently at risk of losing their house," Groves said.

The measure will also work to house people already without homes.

"This money will actually provide some short term and medium term rental assistance to help families and individuals get back on their feet," said Henry Stough, Executive Director of the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless.

Though it seems like a lot of money, Groves says $860,000 won't change everything overnight.

"This is limited. It's not supposed to be an ongoing, permanent patch," he said.

Still, advocates for the homeless say they'll take all the help they can get.

"[Homelessness] is a sad thing, so it's exciting to finally have some resources to do something about that," Stough said.

Like most other Federal grants, this one comes with some guidelines.

In order to qualify for temporary relief, single adults need to make less $20,000 per year. A household of four must stay below $28,850 to qualify.

The grant will only provide 3 to 6 months of housing assistance. After that, city leaders say you have to be able to pay your own way.

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