The Birmingham Times
One Roof, a Birmingham nonprofit organization fighting to prevent and end homelessness, recently received $8.9 million in federal funds to go toward safe havens, which provide housing and support for two primary at-risk populations: the severely mentally ill and the physically impaired.
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell announced Tuesday that the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently awarded $11.4 million to local “Continuums of Care” (CoCs) across Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.
HUD’s Continuum of Care (CoC) Program works with local nonprofit providers and state and local governments (CoCs) to end homelessness, providing rapid rehousing and other resources to alleviate mental and physical trauma and encourage stability and independence.
“Housing is a basic human need and in this country should be a basic human right,” said Sewell. “I am pleased by HUD’s recent investment in securing housing and support for the 7th District’s homeless population, knowing that money will go a long way toward alleviating some of the extraordinary burdens they face on a daily basis. A home is more than just a shelter, and I will continue working to ensure that each and every constituent across the district has a warm bed to sleep in at night.”
One Roof, which received $8,944,355, provides services for Jefferson County (among others outside of the 7th District.)
“We are grateful for the almost nine million dollars that we have been awarded from HUD,” said Michelle Farley, Executive Director of One Roof. “This money goes toward defending our most vulnerable. Twenty years ago, many of the people we are serving would be institutionalized; today they are able to live in these safe havens with support. We know that this is the first announcement, and we are looking forward to the second.”
The Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless, which received $1,176,724 in funding, provides services for Montgomery, Macon, Lowndes, Autauga and Elmore Counties. The two main projects this funding will service are “Rapid Rehousing,” which provides assistance to people who are street or shelter homeless, in moving into affordable housing; and “Homelessness Prevention,” which provides assistance to people who are facing imminent eviction.
The funding will also go toward supportive services for coordinated entry, which helps to determine the ranking of need for assistance; toward housing assistance for victims of domestic abuse; and toward housing assistance for people suffering a major mental health diagnosis.
“We’re pleased that HUD continues to provide funds to address the needs of the River Region’s homeless populations,” said Lydia Pickett, Executive Director of the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless. “All funds will be used to assist people in severe need. We’re elated that Congresswoman Sewell’s office supports our efforts to combat homelessness, and look forward to working together toward this shared goal. People wishing to access support should call 2-1-1.”
Other groups receiving funding included The Alabama Balance of State CoC (ARCH), $1,126,358 and The West Alabama Coalition for the Homeless (WACH), $197,581.