First 5 Contra Costa awarded a total of $400,000 to two community-based organizations providing shelter services to homeless families

$400,000 Awarded for Homeless Services

$400,000 Awarded for Homeless ServicesLast week, First 5 Contra Costa awarded a total of $400,000 to two community-based organizations providing shelter services to homeless families with young children. Funding was awarded to SHELTER Inc. of Contra Costa County to support homeless shelter services in Martinez and the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP), which operates a shelter in Richmond.

"Homeless children can experience traumatic stress and may be at risk for delayed development or learning disabilities," said First 5 Executive Director Sean Casey. "Supporting children in crisis continues to be a priority for First 5."

SHELTER, Inc. will receive $135,000 annually for two years to continue operating the Mountain View Family Emergency Shelter, which has already served 55 homeless children birth to age five this year alone. In addition to shelter and meals, the program links families with job training, medical care, counseling services, preschool enrollment assistance, parenting classes, and other needed services to help families secure permanent housing. For the last five years, 90% of families with young children transitioned from Mountain View House to stable housing.

GRIP will use its $65,000 two-year grant to expand its children's program by providing routine child development screening to all children under age five living at the shelter, as well as case management and parent support to the 40 to 60 homeless families the shelter typically serves. According to the county's 2011 Homeless Continuum of Care report, nearly 60% of people seeking homeless services are from West Contra Costa, with 45% from Richmond and San Pablo.

Four community-based organizations submitted applications for funding in response to First 5's RFA, which specified up to two agencies would be selected.

 

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