The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded more than $1.28 million to three non-profit agencies and the county to address the needs of the homeless population and coordinate services. The awards, which were facilitated by the Continuum of Care for Kane County, are as follows:
Ecker Center for Mental Health (Elgin) has been awarded a total of $400,348 to support two housing programs. Each will provide rental housing and supportive services for homeless individuals with mental illness.
Hesed House (Aurora) received a total award of $475,544 for rental housing and case management services for chronically homeless individuals, and for housing and services to homeless individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency within 24 months.
Lazarus House (St. Charles) has been awarded a total of $250,468 to provide rental housing and case management services for chronically homeless individuals and services to homeless individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency within 24 months.
Together, the above awards will assist approximately 124 individuals that are experiencing homelessness. Some are expected to be “chronically homeless” and will require long-term assistance; others are individuals or families that will require short-term assistance and are expected to obtain housing on their own.
Finally, the Kane County Office of Community Reinvestment was awarded two grants totaling $157,334 to provide administrative and planning assistance to the Continuum, and to support the Homeless Management Information System (“HMIS”). The HMIS is a web-based portal that allows participating agencies to better-track and report client needs and services.
About the Continuum of Care
The Continuum of Care for Kane County was established in 1999 and includes Kane County’s Community Development Program Area and the Cities of Aurora and Elgin. The Continuum consists of organizations and agencies that assist individuals and families that are at-risk of being homeless or are in various stages of homelessness. These social service agencies provide:
- Outreach, Assessment and Intake;
- Emergency Shelter;
- Supportive Services;
- Rental Housing; and
- Permanent Supportive Housing
Additionally, individual agencies assist their clients in obtaining mainstream benefits, job training, financial management skills, and housing, and at the same time addressing each individual’s specific needs.
The Continuum is responsible for fostering coordination among the social service agencies throughout Kane County to ensure that gaps and overlaps in services are addressed. The Continuum has participated in HUD’s annual funding process since 1999. To date, the continuum has facilitated the awarding of more than $19 million to local agencies. This funding has provided critical support for various social services and helped to increase the availability of affordable housing for families and individuals that are either homeless or at-risk of being homeless.