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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2005

Gov. Blagojevich announces $280,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants to support essential services for area’s homeless in North Central 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 $280,000 to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people throughout the North Central 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.

"Living in a nation whose greatness was founded on the promise of offering a better life and better opportunity to those coming from even the bleakest of economic backgrounds, we still have far too many citizens living in poverty and destitution. Homelessness remains a very real problem and, while we cannot wipe it out entirely, we can make real inroads at reducing our state’s homeless population through expanding critical services at the community level. The grants we are providing these non-profits organizations will strengthen the tremendous work they are doing and help restore lost opportunity to those most in need," 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.

"The services that these homeless shelters and community service agencies in our community provide are instrumental in improving the lives of those most in need. Thanks to Gov. Blagojevich’s support, these dedicated local organizations can continue to provide shelter for families to stay safe, warm and dry so they can get back on their feet and pursue new opportunities," State Senator George Shadid (D-Pekin) said.

"Gov. Blagojevich and I believe that an effective economic development plan must deliver resources and services at the community level. The Emergency Shelter Grant Program is one example of how we can positively impact many lives by partnering with community organizations to employ this strategy," said State Representative Michael Smith (D-Canton).

Organizations in the North Central region who will receive funding include:

Organization City Amount

The Children’s Foundation Bloomington $22,550

Home Sweet Home Mission, Inc. Bloomington $38,600

Salvation Army-Pekin Pekin $10,500

Peoria Citizens Com. for Econ. Op. Peoria $10,000

Peoria Friendship House Peoria $28,000

Salvation Army-Peoria Peoria $58,500

Salvation Army Service Extension Peoria $44,000

The Center for Prevention of Abuse Peoria $14,565

YWCA-Peoria Peoria $53,285

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.

"One of the most important objectives of our economic development efforts is to help build stronger, more vibrant communities across the state where economic opportunity is more abundant. These emergency shelter grants will help areas across the North Central region provide essential services to their homeless populations, increasing opportunities for them to get back on their feet and into the workforce and enhancing the economic vitality of the entire community," DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.



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