FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Fla. (January 8, 2003) – Lee County agencies will receive $1.9 million
this year to provide housing and supportive services to homeless families and
individuals – part of $1.1 billion in grants announced by U.S. Housing and
Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez.
The grants, part of HUD’s Continuum of Care and Emergency
Shelter Grant programs, will help the homeless to find emergency shelter,
transitional housing and a permanent home.
On Friday (Jan. 10), HUD officials will present the
1,882,437 check to Board of Lee County Commissioners Chairman Ray Judah.
The check presentation will be at 10 a.m. at Southwest Florida Addiction
Services’ Transitional Living Center, 2517 Dixie Parkway in Fort Myers (one
block east of U.S. 41 at South Street). In
attendance will also be Orlando Lorie, Director of HUD’s Miami Field Office
and Ron Muscarella, Senior Community Planning & Development Representative.
SWFAS is one of four local agencies that will be receiving the funds:
§ SWFAS ($90,508) – Project Fresh Start
§ The Salvation Army ($1,286,207) – Comprehensive Care and Aftercare programs
§ Lee County Human Services ($119,722) – Living Independently for Today (LIFT) Program
§ Renaissance Manor ($386,000) – for programming
Also attending will be people who have benefited from the programs to share their stories.
The Lee County 2002 Homeless Continuum of Care (CoC) application covered all local jurisdictions. Lee County’s Department of Human Services is responsible for grant planning, application and administration. The nonprofit Lee County Coalition for the Homeless, Florida, Inc. and its member providers implement the Continuum of Care programs. Continuum programs have the goals of homelessness prevention and restoring homeless families, individuals, and children to housing and independent lives.
The grants are competitively awarded, funds are not guaranteed, and the competition to receive them becomes stiffer each year. Lee County and the Coalition are pleased to have been successful in convincing the judges that this area’s homeless program is viable and effective.
Nationally, it is
estimated that more than 740,000 individuals will be helped by the grant.
The total homeless population in Lee County is estimated at up to 2,000
on any given night.