HHA secures over $700,000 in funding to end homelessness in Okaloosa and Walton County

The Homelessness and Housing Alliance was awarded $708,359 by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to support projects aimed at ending homelessness in our community.

The largest component of the grant will fund Bridgeway’s Independent Living Program, which provides permanent supportive housing options to the most vulnerable in our community. Permanent supportive housing is a critical component to ending homelessness because it provides a pathway to housing for chronically homeless individuals who need intensive supportive services. These individuals and families often have no other housing options. Bridgeway’s Independent Living Program will provide long term rental assistance and ongoing case management focused on helping clients develop independent living skills and navigate community resources so that their physical and mental health needs are addressed. HHA secured $414,507 to support this critical program.

HHA also secured $171,582 for a Rapid Rehousing Program. This program helps families and individuals experiencing homelessness get back into housing as quickly as possible by providing re-housing assistance and short term rental support. The program utilizes a housing first approach by prioritizing housing and providing stabilization support to prevent re-entry into homelessness.

The HUD grant also included $20,634 for Continuum of Care (COC) planning activities, $52,552 for HMIS expansion, and $49,084 for Coordinated Entry. The HMIS funding is an important part of ensuring that all homeless service organization have access to the data management system that enables our community to track and evaluate our homelessness services. This evaluation is the first step to ensuring that we are serving our clients and that our community’s resources are being effectively leveraged in the areas of greatest need.

The $49,084 awarded for the Coordinated Entry project will be utilized to ensure that individuals experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness can easily access the services they need. Coordination across agencies is needed to ensure that services are not duplicated and that the more intensive programs are targeted toward those who are most in need. This will support management and expansion of that system across COC stakeholders.

HHA is excited to be able to bring these important cross-organizational programs to our community. Together we can end homelessness and these grants will help us on that journey.

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