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Northwest Indiana groups get grants  to aid homeless

Updated: May 12, 2014 6:20AM



Several Northwest Indiana groups that help the homeless with housing and services have received federal grants.

Sharron Liggins, executive director of Continuum of Care Network Northwest Indiana, said the funds were all renewals for ongoing projects. Liggins said the organizations didn’t have any new projects in the pipeline, but they hope to in time for next year’s cycle.

Aliveness Project of NWI, Inc., which serves homeless people suffering from HIV and AIDS, received $282,439, and Catholic Charities received $433,982 for its program.

Several Shelter Plus Care programs received funding — including $103,390 for Porter Starke, $189,809 for Edgewater Systems and $111,258 for Regional Mental Health Center. These programs target populations that have been tough to reach, including those with serious mental illness, chronic substance abuse and AIDS and other diseases.

They were part of 95 area homeless housing and service programs statewide that received Continuum of Care funding. The money supports a variety of programs such as street outreach, client assessment and direct housing assistance to individuals and families with children.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will award additional grants in coming weeks.

Liggins said HUD has been moving toward funding rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing — and away from shelter and transitional housing — as data has shown that those programs are more effective at helping the homeless stay off the streets.

“In the 2009 stimulus, money was earmarked for homeless prevention and rapid rehousing,” Liggins said. “They utilized data from the states and found that the rental assistance needed to be there for longer than 18 months.”



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