The Merced County Association of Governments said two homeless programs have been renewed for the rest of the year through the Merced City and County Continuum of Care Program.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $215,629 in renewal funding to two Merced County agencies.
The award is a direct result of partnerships and collaboration among local homeless service providers, county agencies, and cities to address the issue of homelessness, MCAG said in a news release.
Project Home Start, which provides permanent housing to four chronically homeless, mental health clients, received $134,466 of the renewal funding. Merced County Department of Mental Health began the program in 2007. One participant, after being homeless for two years from a mental illness and substance abuse problem, has been sober and stable on medication for over two years, the MCAG news release said. The client works over 20 hours weekly and will return to school for a high school diploma.
“The Mental Health Department remains committed to working with homeless, mentally ill adults to transition into stable, productive and meaningful lives,” said Manuel Jimenez, the county’s mental health director.. “Project Home Start has been a very successful program for the consumers of the Department as well as the residents of Merced County.”
Homeless Management Information Systems, also known as HMIS, received $81,163. HMIS is an online tracking tool used by several homeless service providers to track characteristics of the homeless population and services they are accessing.
According to HUD, policymakers at the state and federal levels use HMIS data to obtain better information about the extent and nature of homelessness over time. Community Action Agency is the county’s main HMIS service provider.
MCAG said it’s been charged with the Continuum of Care Program since it began in 2003. Communities that have a Continuum of Care Program in place are eligible to receive funding through a nationally competitive process.
MCAG is an association of city and county governments, with members who meet to discuss and solve program of regional interest. More information can be found at www.mcagov.org or by calling (209) 723-3153, ext. 308.