• 86°

Local organizations get money to reduce homelessness

More than $6 million in homeless reduction grants through the Virginia Housing Trust Fund will go toward 38 projects throughout the state, including several in Suffolk and Western Tidewater.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced the awards March 22.

The money will go toward 102 targeted efforts to reduce homelessness, including rapid re-housing, support services for permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless, and the pre-development of permanent supportive housing projects for individuals or families experiencing recurring homelessness.

“Housing affordability continues to be a challenge nationwide, and the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us in very stark terms how too many families are at risk of losing their homes,” Northam said in a news release. “As we continue to rebuild our economy, we must ensure our most vulnerable Virginians are able to recover and find stability. These grants will help add critical permanent supportive housing units to our stock and fund innovative efforts to reduce homelessness, right now as we weather this public health crisis and into the future.”

The trust fund currently has $55 million in it for the current fiscal year, and will go up to $70.7 million in the next.

The fund is used to finance affordable housing projects and increase homeownership.

Local projects to receive homeless reduction grant awards include:

  • The Planning Council, $717,836 (Isle of Wight and Southampton counties and the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk and Norfolk) — The program will set up a dedicated group within the continuum of care to focus on understanding the impact of aging and medical fragility concerning homelessness.
  • LGBT Life Center, $191,145 (Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Suffolk) — This program will support a full-time case manager to help 10 youth households in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing, with money also going toward housing stabilization case management, housing stabilization financial assistance, rent arrears and rental assistance.
  • ForKids, Inc., $171,207 (Isle of Wight and Southampton counties, and the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, and Suffolk) — Will support the rapid re-housing of 45 youth parents aged 18 to 24 who are experiencing homelessness and allow them to find permanent housing.
  • YWCA South Hampton Roads, $96,202 (Cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk) — This will go toward a rapid re-housing project to provide stable housing and rental assistance for seven households, prioritizing youth and families ages 18 to 24, with funding to support a part-time housing locator and a part-time housing case manager to help families with getting and keeping permanent housing.