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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2005

Gov. Blagojevich announces $156,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants to expand essential services for area’s homeless in East 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 $156,000 to support emergency shelters and non-profits that serve homeless and near-homeless people throughout East 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.

"Across the East Central region, we are forming innovative partnerships with community stakeholders and leveraging limited fiscal resources to deliver services that will help people build better lives. While homelessness presents a very formidable challenge, we can best address this problem by employing the same strategy. The Emergency Shelter Grant Program allows us to partner with social service agencies that are delivering essential services to the homeless, strengthening the tremendous work they do and providing the homeless with essential building blocks for a better tomorrow," 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 East Central region who will receive funding include:

Organization City Amount

Center for Women in Transition Champaign $55,000

Salvation Army Champaign $36,000

Your Family Resource Connection Danville $55,000

Crisis Nursery Urbana $10,000

"Gov. Blagojevich understands the importance of supporting community-based organizations that deliver services to populations that are difficult to reach. These grants will make it easier for our non- profits to continue helping these people and acting as an invaluable resource to our communities," State Representative Naomi Jakobsson (D-Champaign) said.

"Programs like these improve the quality of life in our community. Addressing homelessness is a difficult challenge, but by partnering with those who are most heavily invested in the community and best equipped to effectively deliver resources at the ground level, we vastly increase our chances for success," said State Representative William Black (R-Danville).

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.

"The Emergency Shelter Grant Program is supporting the magnificent work these social service organizations across the East Central region do in providing essential services to the area’s homeless population. 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 are best equipped to effectively deliver resources at the ground level to make a tangible difference in people’s lives," DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.



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