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Pittsburg approves homeless grant - KOAM TV 7

Pittsburg approves homeless grant

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

Since 2006, the city of Pittsburg has approved funds for their "Emergency Solutions Grant", a grant intended to help those who are or are about to be experiencing homelessness.

This year was no exception. The grant was approved unanimously.

The $138,744 grant splits in two main ways: between the city of PIttsburg and the Wesley House. The city uses their funds (around $96,000) to contract a homeless case manager and the remainder is used to subsidize rent and utilities once those who are homeless get into housing. The Wesley House uses their cut of $40,000 to operate their daytime shelter. This is the second year the Wesley House has been a recipient of funds from the grant.

"It allows folks that are homeless to come in, receive intensive case management. It allows them to be fed breakfast and lunch. They have access to our computers and then they're also able to take showers and do their laundry here," Wesley House executive director Marcee Binder said of their day shelter.

Binder estimates the shelter provides 50 showers per week, and their laundry facilities are always running.

Homelessness in the area came to light recently when around a dozen people began camping outside of the Wesley House. They will evacuate by August 1.

"The only way they benefit from it is that they are already day shelter clients. So after they leave, they will still be day shelter clients. They will still get the case management. They will still get breakfast and lunch, they will still be able to take showers and do laundry here," Binder said.

Those sleeping outside the Wesley House will directly benefit from the Emergency Solutions Grant if they qualify for the Pittsburg rapid-rehousing and homeless prevention program.

The grant originates at the federal level with HUD. Becky Gray, the director of housing and community development for the city of Pittsburg said the costs for doing nothing about homelessness can add up to $153 per day per homeless person due to how the homeless would utilize other resources like ambulance, police or hospital services.

"The use of emergency services at the hospital is usually increased, police activity is usually increased. All of these things cost a community money. It's cheaper for a community to do something like this grant, so that we can get people back into housing so that they're safe off the streets and have access to care," Gray said.


 

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