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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2005

Gov. Blagojevich announces nearly $360,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants to support low-income residents in 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 nearly $360,000 to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people throughout Central 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

"Shelters and other community service organizations work diligently to nurture our struggling friends and neighbors every day as they fight to have a better life, achieve financial stability and even keep their homes. That’s why it’s critical to support local agencies, in Central Illinois and across the state, that are on the frontlines helping those who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness," 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.

Organizations in the Central region who will receive funding include:

Organization City Amount

Salvation Army Decatur $15,900

Abundant Faith Christian Center Springfield $24,000

Contact Ministries Springfield $60,000

Fifth Street Renaissance Springfield $55,000

Helping Hands of Springfield Springfield $38,654

M.E.R.C.Y. Communities Springfield $40,000

Mini O'Beirne Crisis Nursery Springfield $25,000

P.O.R.A. Springfield $48,000

SARA Center Springfield $10,000

Salvation Army, Springfield Springfield $40,000

"The Governor understands that this kind of grassroots approach to economic development is important. The Emergency Shelter Grant Program is helping build stronger, more vibrant communities by working to prevent homelessness and increase the availability of essential services for our populations that are most in need," State Representative Bob Flider (D-Mt. Zion) said.

"These emergency shelter grants will help Springfield provide essential services to our homeless population, increasing opportunities for them to get back on their feet and into the workforce. Gov. Blagojevich continues to make the kinds of investments in Illinois communities that matter most," Springfield Mayor Timothy Davlin said.

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.

"Through Gov. Blagojevich’s support, homeless shelters throughout Central Illinois will be able to continue their care for those who are struggling - often keeping clients dry or to stay warm - and providing necessary support until the tide turns and they find a sustainable income," DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.



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