TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) - The City of Texarkana, Texas has been awarded $308,897 in homelessness assistance funding as part of a grant competition under the HUD Continuum of Care (CoC) Program from the U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development.
This highly competitive grant is open annually to collaborative partnerships that successfully address homelessness, according to Texarkana, Texas Grants Developer Adra Hallford.
"Funding from this program will help Texarkana find permanent housing solutions for homeless veterans and other Texarkana residents," said Hallford.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro awarded $1.6 billion in grants to provide funding to 6,400 local homeless housing and service programs across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands in what HUD referred to as "the most competitive environment HUD has experienced in the Continuum of Care grant program."
The City of Texarkana, Texas applied for Continuum of Care funding with homeless services providers Texarkana Friendship Center, Inc. and Randy Sams' Outreach Shelter as members of the Texarkana Homeless Coalition Doorways Home program.
The ultimate goal of the program is to end homelessness by providing critically needed housing and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. On any given night in Texarkana, 300 or more men, women, are homeless.
"For more than a third of the families, this is their first experience with homelessness. Research shows us that the faster a community can assist these families to get back into housing, the more likely it is that the family will regain their stability," Hallford said.
Executive Director of Randy Sams' Outreach Shelter, Jennifer Laurent, agrees that this grant will benefit many in the community.
"Randy Sams' is delighted to be a partner in this endeavor to help those experiencing homelessness move into homes quickly," Laurent said. "Having financial assistance to get into housing makes all the difference for people trying to get back on their feet. These grant funds are life changing for so many participants."
In their fifth year with the Doorways Project, Pastor Bryan Bixler of the Texarkana Friendship Center focuses his attention to what makes Texarkana's CoC program work.
"Success really is dependent upon the hard work of our participants, the guidance they receive from our case workers, and local landlords who are so gracious to work with us," Bixler said. "We are grateful to sister agencies and the community at large who help us identify eligible candidates for the program. The support and help from members of the community really give this program a personal touch."