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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2005

Gov. Blagojevich announces more than $120,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants to support low-income residents in Southeast Illinois

CHICAGO – Continuing his efforts to assist people across Illinois and especially those most often left behind, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced grants totaling more than $120,000 to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people throughout the Southeast region. The state’s support comes through the Emergency Shelter Grant Program, one of the Governor’s key initiatives designed to help local communities provide critical assistance to their poor and underserved populations.     
 
“Every night, there are many who go to bed without a warm or dry place to rest, and that’s why it’s important that we lend a hand, especially when it comes to putting a shelter over a family’s head,” Gov. Blagojevich said.  “Homeless men and women, and individuals struggling to make a decent living, often get pushed to the fringes in our society, and it is our obligation to nurture these people to a path of financial stability­.  With these grants, we’re supporting shelters in the Southeast region to do that every day.”
 
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) administers the Emergency Shelter Grant Program from funding provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  The support enables community-based organizations to rehabilitate, renovate and operate emergency shelters, as well as provide essential services for the homeless and prevention assistance to those at risk of homelessness.  Funding is available to units of general local government on behalf of not-for-profit organizations and directly to not-for-profit organizations through a competitive grant application process.
 
Organizations in the Southeast region who will receive funding include:
 
Organization                City                   Amount
H.O.P.E.                        Charleston      $17,500
Mattoon Area PADS    Mattoon            $47,500
S.W.A.N.                        Olney                $55,379
 
Program funds may be used to implement one or more of the following activities:
 
  • Rehabilitation, renovation or conversion of buildings for use as emergency shelters
  • New or expanded essential services provided by the not-for-profit organization in connection with direct services such as job training, substance abuse counseling, health and educational services;
  • Homelessness prevention activities, such as short-term subsidies to help cover the cost of rent and utility expenses, security deposits or first month's rent, or other innovative programs and activities designed to prevent homelessness; and
  • Operation or maintenance expenses directly related to the emergency shelter.
 
“These grants show Gov. Blagojevich’s ongoing investments to make a tangible difference in local communities, and especially helping those struggling to get by.  Homeless shelters and community service providers throughout Southeastern Illinois will be able to provide better care for those who are often left behind,” DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.


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