Today, The City’s Office of Homeless Services (OHS) has announced the award of nearly $4.2 million in State CARES Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funds. The goals of these funds are homelessness prevention, rapid rehousing, human services, and legal assistance.
The PA Department of Community and Economic Development has determined grantees based on submissions from the local competition.
“These funds give the City a chance to meet some of the unmet, but urgent community needs- and bring new voices to the table,” said Liz Hersh, Director of OHS.
In efforts to provide access to the LGBTQ community, the grants has allocated $400,000 to a new partnership between the William Way LGBTQ Community Center.
“LGBTQ people are often reluctant to enter shelters where they fear mistreatment. Making services more accessible through a known LGBTQ organization is an important addition,” Hersh says.
OHS will also provide $1.5 million to organizations serving the Latinx/Hispanic community. This includes a new partnership with Nueva Esperanza Inc.
In efforts to support young adults facing homelessness, the OHS will be investing $800,000 to Valley Youth House and Turning Points for Children.
“Each provides immediate, direct, and sustained supportive services for supporting youth aging out of foster care,” Hersh says.
State CARES ESG funds will also be invested in “SOAR”, the SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, Recovery program, which is designed to increase access to the disability income benefit programs.
“While we are trying to bring them into the COVID Prevention Spaces where they can be housed and protected, we also want to be sure they are getting any income for which they are eligible,” Hersh added.