To help people avoid becoming homeless, area agencies applied for a grant to help tackle the issue of homelessness. Dan Ferrell and his colleagues at the United Way are the lead applicants of the grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Along with other groups, they got the money – $1.2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“That money is going to be used to assist at-risk households who are of low income, which is roughly, for an individual about $20,000, and for a family of four in Wilmington – $28,000 a year,” said Ferrell.
The money will help qualified people pay rent and utilities. It will also assist ex-offenders and youth aging out of foster care. People in those categories tend to find themselves homeless if they don’t get proper assistance during their transition.
Ferrell added, “We’re going to be looking very closely to see how little we can spend on each family or each household so we can spread the money as far as it can go.”
The other partners receiving the grant money are the Salvation Army, the Good Shepherd Center, Brunswick Family Assistance, Pender County Housing Department, and Amez Housing Community Development Corporation.
The money will be available to the agencies in the three counties over the next three years.
The funding was just announced this week, so there is still some planning and development to be done. Clients will begin seeing the money in November. The groups are still determining who will receive it and how they’ll go about distributing it.