The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded approximately $616,000 for Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) to improve the quality and number of emergency homeless shelters in West Virginia.
Of the funding, more than $519,000 will be provided to West Virginia’s State Program and more than $51,000 to the City of Huntington.
U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller, along with U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (all D-W.Va.) praised the funding in released statements.
“In our state and in this country, we don’t want anyone to have to go without a roof over their head. These important programs offer not only the basic necessity of housing, but also hope to West Virginians who are struggling through difficult times,” Manchin said. “These funds promote one of our state’s top priorities: neighbors helping neighbors. Our efforts can’t stop with emergency assistance, though. We need to make sure that every West Virginian who is able to contribute to our community has the resources and training to get a good job to provide for their family.”
The purpose of the ESG program is to assist individuals and families quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness. Recipients, which are state governments, metropolitan cities, urban counties, and U.S. territories, receive ESG funds from HUD and make these funds available to eligible sub-recipients, which can be either local government agencies or private nonprofit organizations.
“The investment in emergency housing shelters in West Virginia is so important, particularly right now as too many families are struggling to get back on their feet after the devastating storms,” Rockefeller said. “Some people’s homes were destroyed or seriously damaged, and this funding will help make sure that these West Virginians are taken care of and have a roof over their head. In West Virginia, we know what it’s like to come together and help each other, and this assistance will make sure that more people can get the resources they need.”
ESG funds are available for five program components: street outreach, emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing assistance, and data collection.
“What more powerful reminder do we need than Mother Nature’s recent derecho that sometimes families, through no fault of their own, lose their homes,” Rahall said. “Federal investments helping provide emergency housing make sense, because communities and the Nation win when we have fewer families with no shelter over their heads. Businesses, health care and local governments all enjoy a better bottom line when people are safe and secure from the elements.”