MASON CITY, Iowa - The state of Iowa has been granted $9.1 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Devlopment (HUD) to fund homelessness assistance initiatives through the Continuum of Care (CoC) program.
The program provides needed support to local programs that serve individuals and families experiencing homelessness, with the ultimate goal of ending homelessness.
There are three CoCs in Iowa, including Des Moines/Polk County, Sioux City/Woodury County, and the Iowa Balance of State CoC, which covers the rest of the state outside of Council Bluffs, which is included in the Omaha CoC.
For Northern Lights Men's Shelter Monitor Stephen Raymond, he says this money would be beneficial in a variety of ways.
"There are some improvements needed on the shelter, but also some new programs to help the guys get on their feet," Raymond says.
For HUD Beneficiary Emily Willemsen, she says that the assistance she gets from those programs has gone a long way for her.
"If I didn't have the assistance, I probably would be staying in a shelter. I've applied for more jobs, but times were tough, and it's helped me out," Willemsen says.
Approximately 11,900 Iowans experienced homelessness in 2016, a statistic that is declining.
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