Lee County commissioners on Tuesday voted to accept state and federal grants totaling more than $3.7 million to provide housing and services for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
The Board of County Commissioners has made it a priority to offer services to people experiencing homelessness or those at risk of homelessness. Commissioners voted to:
- Accept $1,997,727 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Continuum of Care (CoC) grant funds. Funding will provide housing and services to people experiencing homelessness. Funds are administered by the Lee County Department of Human and Veteran Services and local nonprofit agencies. More than 535 people will receive information, referrals, housing and supportive services. The grant money will be expended during fiscal year 2021-2022.
- Accept $941,808 from Emergency Solutions Grant CARES Act funding from the State of Florida Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) Office on Homelessness. Funds will be used to provide housing and services for persons experiencing homelessness. Funds will be administered by the Department of Human and Veteran Services and various non-profit partners. A minimum of 314 households will be assisted through rapid rehousing, street outreach, emergency sheltering and supportive services. The grant money of must be expended by June 30, 2022.
- Accept $407,750 in grant funds from DCF to provide housing and services for people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. About a dozen people will be prevented from becoming homeless, and 24 people will be re-housed. An additional 528 people will receive information and referrals for support services. The grant money must be expended by June 30, 2022.
- Accept $362,662 in Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Funds will be used to provide housing and services for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. Funds will be administered by the Department of Human and Veteran Services to provide rapid rehousing and assistance with rent, mortgage or utility payments for about 100 households. The grant money must be expended by Sept. 30, 2022.
Lee County Human and Veteran Services serves as the co-lead agency for the Continuum of Care and coordinates housing, services, and special initiatives to ensure that homelessness in Lee County is a rare, brief and one time experience. The Continuum of Care (CoC) includes local governments, agencies, and persons with lived experience who collectively plan and implement programs to serve people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness.
Anyone experiencing homelessness with housing needs should call the Coordinated Entry phone line at 239-533-7996, available 24/7.