Michigan Receives Grants to Aid Homeless

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

February 2, 2004

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) with nearly $5.5 million in grant funding for aid, shelter and services to homeless citizens.

“Protecting and serving Michigan’s most vulnerable citizens is a high priority,” said Janet Olszewski, Director of the Michigan Department of Community Health. “We hope the grants allow us to explore programs and options that move homeless individuals and families toward self-sufficiency and permanent housing.”

MDCH was awarded three types of grants under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. The first, Shelter Plus Care, provides rental assistance for hard-to-serve homeless persons with disabilities in connection with supportive services funded from sources outside the program.

Second, the Supporting Housing Program is designed to develop supportive housing and services that will allow homeless persons to live as independently as possible.

The last type of grant - Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) - provides communities with valuable direction and technical assistance resources on strategies to collect information on homeless persons. HMIS implementation allows the opportunity to re-examine how homeless services are provided statewide, and to make informed decisions, and develop appropriate action steps.

“It is vitally important that while we are actively assisting our existing population of homeless citizens, we also need to learn more to prevent homelessness,” Olszewski said. “The variation of programs contained in these grants will help us to accomplish our collective goal.”