116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Seven agencies in Linn and Johnson counties have received $1.3 million in state and federal funding for programs that house and help homeless individuals.
The Iowa Finance Authority last week announced the $4.7 million in grants, to be awarded in 2023, to 44 agencies.
The grants are for two programs: emergency solutions grants, funded by the federal government, to help homeless families quickly regain permanent housing; and state-funded shelter assistance grants to assist with the costs of operating homeless and domestic violence shelters.
Grant recipients in the Corridor include:
Area Substance Abuse Council received $25,474 for assistance in operating residential and halfway house programs in Linn and Clinton counties.
“We’re a nonprofit, and we are very thankful for any amount of funding that we receive,” Stephanie Boesenberg, ASAC executive director, said. “Iowa Finance Authority, they are a tremendous help with helping agencies to offset their costs.”
Catherine McAuley Center, Cedar Rapids, received $25,562 from the emergency solutions fund and $13,018 from the shelter assistance fund.
Kelsey Steines, the center’s director of development and communications, said the center previously hadn’t had access to the emergency solutions funds because the center mostly runs transitional housing programs rather than a shelter.
But the center recently started operating a day center and outreach services that help women enter the transitional housing program.
The day center also serves to “meet the needs of unsheltered women in our community because we know the homeless population is growing, and we wanted to use our expertise in serving women in crisis, even if there wasn’t a bed open in transitional housing at the time,” Steines said.
Domestic Violence Intervention Program, Iowa City, received $98,214 from the emergency solutions fund and $86,012 from the shelter assistance fund.
Alta Medea, DVIP’s director of community engagement, said the program has been receiving money from these two grants for decades.
“It’s absolutely vital for us to be able to do the work that we do,” Medea said. “We certainly rely on those dollars to provide services to victim/survivors throughout our entire eight-county region. In the past year, we sheltered in our emergency shelter 368 individuals. So, without those dollars, most definitely we would not be able to serve as many people as we do.”
Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, Cedar Rapids, received $158,302 from the emergency solutions fund to assist homeless households “or those living in a place note meant for human habitation,” find a home.
The program works with Waypoint to coordinate access to services, according to Heather Harney, HACAP’s regional housing director.
Shelter House Community Shelter and Transition Services, Iowa City, received $201,429 from emergency solutions funds and $140,881 from the shelter assistance fund.
Shelter House operates a 70-bed emergency shelter, four homes and a housing-first complex that provides more 60 permanent, supportive housing units.
Waypoint, Cedar Rapids, received $236,588 in emergency solutions funds and $46,656 in shelter assistance funds.
The grants are the main funding source for Waypoint’s rapid rehousing program, according to J’nae Peterman, Waypoint’s director of the homeless and housing program.
Peterman said the program’s grant funding has stayed about the same though the need for rapid rehousing has recently increased.
“These funds serve a very specific population. The vast majority of people needing financial assistance do not qualify for these funds,” Peterman said. “Less than 10 percent of our population are going to qualify for these funds because they have to be documented as literally homeless. It’s not people that are facing eviction or are behind on rent, which is 90 percent of the calls we are getting right now.”
Willis Dady Emergency Shelter, Cedar Rapids, received $196,633 from the emergency solutions fund and $90,666 from shelter assistance funds.
Alicia Faust, Willis Dady’s executive director, said the agency uses the emergency assistance funds in its short-term, rapid rehousing program and its street outreach program. The shelter assistance fund is the primary funding source for shelter operations.
“We’re very grateful. We love working with Iowa Finance Authority,” Faust said “We know that there are other agencies in town and across Iowa in general that receive funding through them. So, we’re very lucky to be able to receive funding that sustains our general operations for these programs.”
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