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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2005

Gov. Blagojevich announces nearly $315,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants to support local low-income residents in Southwest 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 nearly $315,000 to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people throughout Southwest Illinois. 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.

"The services that homeless shelters and community service agencies provide often help people that are on a rough path find a road to new opportunities. With these grants, we’re providing important social support to dedicated local organizations providing shelter for families to stay safe, warm and dry," Gov. Blagojevich said. "It is our moral obligation to nurture our struggling friends and neighbors to a path of financial stability­ and shelters in the Southwest Illinois work hard to do this 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.

"Gov. Blagojevich’s Emergency Shelter Grant Program is assisting social service organizations across the Southwest region provide basic necessities like food, shelter, and health care to the area’s homeless. In doing so, we’re first and foremost helping reduce homelessness, but we’re also helping restore economic opportunity to those most in need," said State Senator James Clayborne (D-East St. Louis).

"While many leaders have shied away from confronting homelessness, Gov. Blagojevich has embraced the challenge by working strategically with community organizations who can deliver the services and resources that will make a major impact in a great many lives," State Senator William Haine (D-Alton) said.

"Gov. Blagojevich’s Emergency Shelter Grant Program is a vital means of providing the organizations that work on the frontlines each day with the resources they need to continue delivering essential services to the homeless so we can give them the opportunity to make a better tomorrow for themselves," said State Representative Thomas Holbrook (D-Belleville).

"The Governor’s economic development strategy is based in the idea that resources should be delivered from the bottom up instead of the top down. The Emergency Shelter grant program, which puts the power to prevent and reduce homelessness in the hands of community organizations that work on the frontlines each day, is a great example of the Governor’s strategy at work," State Representative Dan Beiser (D-Alton) said.

"While these kinds of programs often go overlooked, they are critical to improving the quality of life for the less fortunate in our community. Thanks to the Governor’s support, our community organizations can continue to provide the critical services that help prevent and reduce homelessness," State Representative Wyvetter Younge (D-East St. Louis) said.

Organizations in the Southwest region who will receive funding include:

Organization City Amount

Salvation Army, Alton Alton $30,000

CDBG Operations Corporation East St. Louis $38,000

Ministers United Against Human Suffering East St. Louis $43,393

Opal's House East St. Louis $74,990

Salvation Army, E. St. Louis East St. Louis $35,000

Call for Help, Inc. Edgemont $16,903

Good Samaritan House Granite City $37,200

Phoenix Crisis Center Granite City $27,100

Highland Area Christian Service Ministry Highland $11,800

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.

"Gov. Blagojevich is making a tangible difference by providing vital resources to local communities, even those most often left behind that are in homeless shelters or struggling to make a decent living. The Governor will continue to support organizations in Southwest Illinois that care for those who are struggling, until they find a sustainable income," DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.



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