Chester County receives $1.5 million in grants to support ending homelessness
● By Steven Hoffman
Chester County has received $1.5 million in Continuum of Care grants from the United States Government’s Department of Housing and Urban Development to support the initiatives of Chester County’s Decade to Doorways program - a program that prevents and ends homelessness by providing critically needed emergency housing and support services to individuals and families.
“Part of the Continuum of Care funding will enable our Department of Community Development to continue facilitating the Decade to Doorways initiative, which has more than 100 volunteers working on solutions to end homelessness in Chester County,” said Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Terence Farrell.
A portion of the $1.5 million will fund Chester County’s coordinated assessment system, ConnectPoints, which helps to divert, prevent and rapidly re-house homeless citizens. “Every day, ConnectPoints maximizes our county’s housing resources by directing people who are experiencing homelessness into available beds,” commented Commissioner Kathi Cozzone.
“Another critical component of the Decade to Doorways program that is being bolstered by the Continuum of Care grants is rental assistance for individuals and families,” said Commissioner Michelle Kichline. “Having a resource for rental assistance greatly enhances the ability of individuals and families to remain housed in a stable environment, rather than facing the prospect of homelessness.”
The U.S. Government’s Continuum of Care program is designed to promote a community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homeless. Continuum of Care funds awarded to communities are based on data collected in the annual Point in Time count which is required to indicate the total number of individuals and families experiencing homelessness on a given night. Chester County conducted its annual Point in Time count last week. Data from the Point in Time count is included in the Annual Homeless Assessment Report, presented annually to Congress.