Emphasizing the vital work of service organizations in communities throughout the state, Governor Chris Christie today announced the award of 37 Shelter Support grants totaling $3.83 million in both state and federal funding. The grants will aid nonprofit and local government agencies operating emergency homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities while assisting approximately 3,000 New Jersey households over the next year.
Governor Christie made the announcement at Community Hope's Hope for Veterans program, a 95-bed transitional housing program for homeless veterans at the Lyons Campus in Somerset County. Community Hope is receiving a $189,000 grant that will assist in the improvement of living conditions and provide a stable and safe place to stay until they can regain their financial footing and move into more permanent housing.
"The long-term effects of the global recession underscore how important even the basic necessities are to families and veterans in crisis -- things that so many of us take for granted, such as a decent meal and a safe, warm place to sleep," said Governor Christie. "While my administration continues to make progress on the larger economic and quality of life goals facing the state, it is important to reinforce our commitment to service by making this grant funding available to local service organizations that are in a position to help make a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.
"I am proud that many of my cabinet members volunteered their time during this Season of Service at more than 40 community service organizations throughout the New Jersey. From Oasis and Eva's Kitchen to Project Self Sufficiency and Anchor House, they served meals, read to children and delivered much needed coats to our neighbors in need."
These grants will be used to abate code violations, address life safety issues, create additional bed space and support the 1,652 beds in existing homeless shelters and transitional housing, resulting in improved living conditions for homeless individuals, victims of domestic violence and military veterans.
"When families arrive at a shelter, they've normally exhausted every resource they have in an effort to avoid homelessness. Some have made enormous sacrifices just to keep a roof over their heads," said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lori Grifa. "These grants will help local and faith-based organizations provide people with a warm, dry place to stay until they can regain their financial footing and move into more permanent housing."
Funding for the grants is a combination of state appropriation and money from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grants are administered through the DCA's Division of Housing and Community Resources.
Since 2003, the Department of Community Affairs has awarded 294 grants totaling approximately $42,050,750 to non-profit and service organizations that run homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities. As a result of the Shelter Support grants 1,452 beds have been created and more than 3,200 individuals are helped each year.
Applications that created new beds or addressed code violations were ranked the highest by Division of Housing and Community Resources staff. Staff also took into consideration the following when making its recommendations: 1) the applicant's success in completing prior awards; 2) the recommendations of the local Continuum of Care; 3) whether or not the applicant had site control of the project; and 4) the availability of public transportation for shelter and transitional housing residents.
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