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Madison County receives funding for homeless services

Agencies within Madison County will receive approximately $1.76 million in funding for homeless services.

“The majority of grant funding Madison County will get will go to agencies that deliver housing and services to meet the specific needs of people who are homeless,” Chairman Kurt Prenzler said. “Very little goes to county government.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced earlier this month that Madison County Continuum of Care (CoC) would receive the funding for its upcoming fiscal year. HUD provides grants to nonprofit organizations, states and local government to rehouse individuals and families experiencing homelessness, as well as provides support services to minimize the difficulty of the situation.

CoCs are tasked to track and manage the homeless community in their area. Madison County Community Development (MCCD) acts as the lead agency for the Madison County’s CoC.

Prenzler said the definition of homeless is not just someone who is living on the street, but those without a permanent address or someone fleeing or attempting to flee a violent situation.

“These could be individuals or families who no longer have a place to stay and are now having to stay with family or friends,” Prenzler said.

The agencies who receive funding provide housing or services under the four criteria HUD uses to define homeless.

The agencies that directly receive HUD funding are:

Chestnut Family Connections                        $11,530

Families in Safe Recovery                             $283,907

Mainstay Center                                             $612,058

Renewal Project Application FY2019             $287,766

Funding received and administered by MCCD will go to local shelters, rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing programs.

Madison County’s HUD funding:

Chestnut Madison Recovery FY2019            $226,116

Housing First Renewal FY19                          $283,943

Madco Planning FY19                                    $53,610

Madison County Community Development Administrator Trudy Bodenbach said she is thankful that CoC is once again receiving funding.

“The priorities of the federal government can change over time and we are never guaranteed that these programs and services will be funded,” Bodenbach said.

In October 2019, Andrew Esping assumed the role as Madison County’s homeless coordinator. Esping oversees grant applications and the administration of funding for homeless services that come into MCCD through six separate state and federal grants.

Esping said he is excited about taking over the role and for the future of CoC.

“We are currently working to put some new measures in place, which will help us to communicate more effectively among the agencies who provide housing,” Esping said. “We expect this to help us get people housed and into shelters more quickly in the future.”

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