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Union County Wins $1.1 Million in Federal Housing Assistance for Homeless Families with Children

Union County has received a significant new federal grant of $1,101,229 for a three-year program to assist homeless families with children in finding housing. The grant, from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was awarded based on Union County’s record of achievement in delivering effective housing assistance programs.
 
According to a January 2011 survey, there are 1,471 homeless people in Union County, 584 of whom are children.
 
“We want Union County families in financial distress to have, at the very least, a stable and healthy environment for their children,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Deborah Scanlon. “Working closely with local community organizations is the most efficient way to accomplish this goal, especially when federal and state budgets are being cut to the bone.”
 
The funding is part of a $16.2 million package of HUD grants recently awarded to New Jersey. The package targets locally-based projects that have not received federal funding in the past.
 
Union County will use its share to fund a three-year homeless family placement program, which will be operated by the YMCA of Eastern Union County. It will consist of 14 units of leased housing for families with children.
 
In addition, last January Union County received a grant of more than $3 million from HUD to extend 21 current housing assistance projects for another year. These are operated by Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services, Community Access Unlimited, Homefirst, Inc., YMCA of Eastern Union County, YWCA of Eastern Union County, and Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless.
 
The Union County Department of Human Services works closely with these community organizations to submit a joint application to HUD each year, to apply for funding.
 
“We provide HUD with a detailed, comprehensive account of Union County’s needs and resources across the board,” said Frank Guzzo, Director of the Union County Department of Human Services. “This high degree of professionalism and cooperation enables Union County to obtain additional funding for vital programs on a competitive basis.”
  

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