CHICAGO – Continuing his efforts to assist people across Illinois and especially those most often left behind, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced grants totaling nearly $110,000 to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people throughout the Northwest 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.
"One of the most important things I can do as Governor is to work to create more widespread economic opportunity for the people of this region and throughout all of Illinois. If residents are struggling to meet their basic survival needs, the opportunity for economic advancement is only a dream. These grants will provide critical support to the invaluable efforts of non-profits across the region, who work tirelessly each day to confront homelessness in our communities and ensure every citizen is provided with shelter and essential services," Gov. Blagojevich said.
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.
"Gov. Blagojevich is addressing homelessness using the same strategic approach he does in promoting economic development: partnering with those who are most heavily invested in the community and best equipped to effectively deliver resources at the ground level. Programs like these improve the quality of life in our community," State Senator Mike Jacobs (D-East Moline) said.
"Gov. Blagojevich’s Emergency Shelter Grant Program is so critical because it increases the availability of essential services for populations most in need. By working to prevent homelessness, we’re helping build stronger and more vibrant communities," State Representative Patrick Verschoore (D-Rock Island) said.
"The Governor’s Emergency Shelter Grant Program is such an important initiative because it allows us to partner with social service agencies that are delivering essential services to the homeless, strengthening the tremendous work they do and making a positive impact in the lives of those who need it most," said State Representative Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley).
Organizations in the Northwest region who will receive funding include:
Organization City Amount
Kewanee Social Service Agency Kewanee $16,000
Illinois Valley P.A.D.S. Peru $15,855
Prairie State Legal Services Rock Island $10,000
Project NOW Rock Island $67,780
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.
"Homeless shelters such as these in the Northwest region work on the frontlines every day to provide essential services to a population of our society that has fallen on hard times and is too often forgotten. These grants will go a long way toward helping these shelters provide better and more comprehensive care for those they serve, meaning increased opportunities for the homeless to get back on their feet and regain their independence," DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.