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Merced County homeless service providers receive financial boost

POSTED July 20, 2010 9:54 p.m.
Merced County’s homeless received a major handout from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Monday, when a $364,000 grant was awarded to two Merced County non-profits.Turning Point, a non-profit mental health agency, received $248,000. It will use the funds to provide two years of permanent supportive housing for 12 chronically homeless mental health clients.“Turning Point is pleased and privileged to be part of helping people live in affordable housing and have a place to call home,” said Ron Gilbert, director of Turning Point for Merced and Stanislaus Counties.The remainder of the grant – $116,000 – went to Community Social Model Advocates. The non-profit will fund supportive services at their residential care facility for homeless substance abusing women and homeless women with children.“I am honored that the program will be a recipient of the award, so those who are in need will have a place to go,” said Lori Newman, executive director of Community Social Model Advocates.The HUD grant was awarded through the Continuum of Care process, which combines non-profit, faith based organizations, cities and county agencies in a regional plan to reduce the number of homeless individuals. The Merced County Association of Governments, Merced County, and the City of Merced worked together to secure the grant.The MCAG has recently begun work on a plan to end chronic homelessness in 10 years. According to Phillip Mangano, president of the American Roundtable to Abolish Homelessness, when communities focus on the economics of homelessness, they realize it is financially irresponsible to ignore the problem.To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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