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City announces grants to local agencies

News release from the City of Fort Wayne:

City announces grants to local agencies

(August 31, 2012) – Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry announced that six local non-profit agencies will receive more than $220,000 in funding from the City’s federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The grants will be used to help low- to moderate-income residents secure housing, temporary shelter, employment and education.

“Our local non-profits play a critical role in the community,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “They work with many of our citizens who face a crisis and are trying to stabilize their lives. These Public Service grants support that vital work, so that we can all live in a stronger and more compassionate community.”

Each year, the City receives CDBG dollars from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to fund activities that primarily benefit low- and moderate-income residents of the community. The City uses a competitive application process to make a portion of its CDBG funds available to non-profit groups in the form of public service grants; CDBG regulations cap the amount available for non-profits.

This year’s grant recipients will provide literacy and financial education to families, provide “real work” experience and career counseling to ex-offenders and help the homeless find jobs and housing.

The following organizations will receive CDBG funding this year:

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[li]Hope House — $60,000 to provide support services for the homeless, including employment services and transitional housing.[/li]
[li]Healthier Moms & Babies — $10,000 to support health education and case management for low-income, at-risk pregnant women through the first year of their baby’s life.[/li]
[li]CANI — $72,000 to be used to provide case management and transitional housing for homeless individuals and families.[/li]
[li]Blue Jacket — $15,000 to help ex-offenders graduate from the agency’s “Career Academy,” which helps clients obtain permanent employment after incarceration.[/li]
[li]The Literacy Alliance — $12,000 to support family literacy services, including GED preparation for adults and early childhood education for their children.[/li]
[li]Lutheran Social Services — $54,000 to support families in financial crisis by providing them with financial education and case management while stabilizing their situation.[/li]
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Applications for funding were scored by a committee of community leaders, including: Marcy Yoder, of the Fort Wayne Area Planning Council and United Way of Allen County; Sharon Gerig, of the Rescue Mission; Max Montesino, of IPFW Department of Organizational Leadership and Nyein Chan, of Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Department. The committee scored the applications and then made their recommendations to the Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services (HANDS) Board and Mayor Henry. The scoring process required the non-profit agency to meet at least one of the following goals:

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[li]Provide new or expanded services that respond to critical, identifiable and unmet needs;[/li]
[li]Stress long-term, innovative solutions that hold the promise of serving as a catalyst for change;[/li]
[li]Be integrated with other community services and work in collaboration with other service providers, as evidenced by a memorandum of agreement stating specific roles and responsibilities of each partner agency;[/li]
[li]Be supported by multiple funding sources and have excellent prospects for ongoing funding and program support;[/li]
[li]Enable and empower those served to reach their highest level of self-sufficiency;[/li]
[li]Help people with special needs achieve better access to and use of existing services;[/li]
[li]Have clearly stated goals and evaluation criteria that are specific, measurable and realistic; and[/li]
[li]Have a clear plan of action that is consistent with the budget and that demonstrates that the applicant has the capability to implement the proposed plan.[/li]
[/list]

“CDBG Public Service grants are one way that the City of Fort Wayne, and Community Development in particular, is working to accomplish our goal of making Fort Wayne the most livable city in the nation,” said Heather Presley-Cowen, deputy director of the Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services. “By strategically investing these resources with our non-profit partners, we are able to address some of our most pressing housing issues and build stronger neighborhoods.”

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