EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County received $1.89 million in federal funding this week to support its operations in the fight against homelessness.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $1,891,803 on Tuesday to Madison County Community Development to address homelessness throughout the county. The funds are part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “Continuum of Care” program.

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“The Continuum of Care grants that were awarded provide critical support in aiding persons experiencing homelessness,” David Harrison, homeless services manager with community development said.

Harrison said the money will be used to provide continued service for programs, which includes housing and services to assist people getting back on their feet.

“With added stress on emergency shelters, especially this time of year, the funds allow for more permanent housing options for our neighbors without housing,” he said.

More than 600,000 Americans are homeless and more than 25 percent of those are children. In Madison County, children represent around 45% of the homeless population.

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“There are many reasons for homelessness,” Harrison said. “Some are homeless due to mental health issues, others were devastated by the recession have not recovered. There are all types of reasons.

Harrison said the county has received the federal funding for a number of years, however the grant amount changes from year to year.

“Last year we lost funding for three programs and another suffered a funding cut,” he said. “This year we lost funding for one program but gained a new one. Despite that we are still unable to help many of those who need it.”

Harrison said the funds are critical to the local continuum of care and serve the most vulnerable residents throughout the county.

Community Development oversees the local money which funds 144 permanent supportive housing beds for families and individuals and 28 units of rapid re-housing for families.

Chestnut Family Connections — $112,590
Chestnut Madison Recovery — $219,972
Chestnut Families in Safe Recovery — $277,639
Good Samaritan House Rapid Re-housing — $88,526
Madison County CoC Planning — $53,116
Madison County Housing First — $262,031
Chestnut Mainstay Center — $596,934
Centerstone Theodoro Place — $280,995

Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler praised Harrison and his team for securing the federal grant.

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