Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors recently approved nearly $200,000 in homeless assistance grants to assist three northwest Iowa agencies with homelessness prevention and assistance initiatives during the 2017 calendar year. It’s a part of $2.3 million allocated for that purpose in the state of Iowa.
The funding is made available through the federal Emergency Solutions Grant program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and by the Iowa Finance Authority in Iowa.
Family Crisis Centers, based in Sioux Center received $105,000. In addition to serving Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, and Sioux Counties, they serve 17 counties in all, including Buena Vista, Calhoun, Carroll, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dickinson, Emmet, Ida, Monona, Palo Alto, Sac, and Pocahontas counties. They received grants for shelter and rapid rehousing.
Shesler Hall in Sioux City, a ministry of the United Methodist Church, serves Monona, Plymouth, Sioux, and Woodbury counties. The agency assists homeless women with chronic mental illness to gain stability by providing holistic wellness and life skills to transition to permanent housing. They received $22,500 to provide shelter.
The community action agency serving half of our coverage area, Upper Des Moines Opportunity received a grant as well to provide shelter, homelessness prevention, and rapid rehousing. The agency that serves O’Brien, Osceola, Buena Vista, Clay, Emmet, Hamilton, Palo Alto, Wright, and Webster counties received $75,000.
The Finance Authority says the purpose of the Emergency Solutions Grant program is to help Iowans and their families quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness and to the help persons experiencing homelessness to quickly move back into stable long-term housing.
Types of assistance can include emergency shelter, street outreach, homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing. Examples of eligible initiatives include funds for shelter operations and essential services, short-term rental or utility assistance, case management and housing relocation and stabilization services.
Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Dave Jamison says that they are proud to provide these federal grants to partner agencies across the state. He says that these funds will soon be directly improving the quality of life for some of Iowa’s most vulnerable citizens.