UNION COUNTY, NJ  – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that the County has received a total of $4,498,918 in new federal grants for homeless housing and service programs, covering 28 programs and initiatives.

The new funds represent a significant part of $1.8 billion in total funding made available nationwide and in Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“Given the brutal winters we’re experiencing, it is more important than ever to ensure that everyone in Union County has a safe place to call home,” said Freeholder Chairman Mohamed S. Jalloh. “These funds will go a long way toward fulfilling that goal.”

The new grants come under the HUD “Continuum of Care” program, which is designed to help reduce chronic homelessness and to prevent individuals and families in need from living in unsafe conditions.

The funding goes only to existing programs that have been proven to work, and to innovative new programs that show exceptional promise. In New Jersey, only Essex and Hudson counties were awarded more funds than Union County.

“This is a competitive grant program, so the large size of the Union County award is a good testament to the dedication and professionalism of our grant applicants,” said Jalloh. “In particular, I would like to thank Union County Human Services Director Frank Guzzo and his staff for their work in obtaining these new funds.”

The Department of Human Services will administer the new HUD funding for transitional and permanent housing services sponsored by Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services, Community Access Unlimited, Community Access Institute, Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, Homefirst, Volunteers of America, Gateway YMCA, Covenant House and YWCA of Eastern Union County.