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City receives $3.6 million to help prevent homelessness

Money is part of federal stimulus package

The City of Kansas City, Mo., Neighborhood and Community Services Department received $3.6 million in federal stimulus money to help prevent homelessness.

"The funding awarded to Kansas City is an unprecedented commitment to fund programs that have a proven track record of providing real housing solutions for our most vulnerable neighbors," said Eugene Lipscomb, deputy director of Region VII of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. "These grants offer a critical lifeline to homeless individuals and families. And today, with the foreclosure and unemployment crisis looming, millions of families – both homeowners and renters – are also in danger of losing their homes so we must focus substantial resources to help those families find stable housing."

These funds will be used to address the needs of people in imminent risk of losing their homes and to move homeless families and individuals from homelessness into permanent housing.

"The impact that this influx from the federal government, when paired with the existing resources in our community, will mean more people are spared from being homeless and suffering the multitude of problems that come with that situation," said Les Washington, director of the Neighborhood and Community Services Department.

Specifically, the money could be used for rental assistance, and relocation and stabilization services that include searching for a home, repairing credit, paying security deposits and rent. The distribution of this money includes case management for the recipients, who must meet the requirements established by the federal government.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to make a difference and it is my hope that these funds will be leveraged with other stimulus funds for infrastructure and economic development. Housing is important, but having a livable wage is critical to sustaining that housing," said Jacquelyn R. Powell, manager of the Human Services Division of the Neighborhood and Community Services Department.

The Human Services Division will oversee the distribution of the money, which will be doled out to nonprofit organizations that will be working with individual recipients. It is anticipated that the money will be available in late-March. The application process will be announced at a later date.

Media inquiries about the Neighborhood and Community Services Department should be directed to Teresa L. Clark, public information officer for the Neighborhood and Community Services Department, (816) 513-3247.

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