The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Dec. 20 announced awards of nearly $2 billion to support efforts across the country to assist those living with homelessness. The announcement included awards of nearly $8.4 million to Tucson and Pima County.

These Continuum of Care (CoC) grants support the community’s efforts to end homelessness and provide critically needed support to local programs on the front lines of serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

In Pima County, programs and funding amounts total nearly $1.7 million and include:

  • Pima County Project Advent Rapid Rehousing – $418,241
  • Coalition Assisting Self-Sufficiency Attainment Rapid Rehousing (CASA) – $443,961
  • Pima County La Casita – $200,199
  • Pima County One-Stop Rapid Rehousing – $200,681
  • Homeless Management Information System – $221,492
  • Homeless Management Information System Coordinated Entry – $200,000

“This funding will go a long way toward ensuring people experiencing homelessness will have access to housing and services to meet their needs,” said Dan Sullivan, program manager of the county’s Sullivan Jackson Employment Center.

The award of $418,241 supports the county’s Project Advent Rapid Re-housing program, administered by the Sullivan Jackson Employment Center (SJEC). Sullivan Jackson is the only program of its type in Arizona and one of just four satellite American Job Centers in the nation providing employment assistance to people experiencing homelessness.

Steve Nelson, program coordinator for Sullivan Jackson Employment Center, said a 20 percent employment rate for homeless job seekers is seen as successful for people experiencing homelessness. “But 61 percent of Sullivan Jackson clients are earning incomes upon completion of the center’s program,” which includes a Job Offer Academy, an intensive, hands-on job-hunting preparation course broken into modules covering such issues as interview appearance, job market analysis and writing better applications and resumes.

In Fiscal Year 2014-15 under Project Advent Rapid Re-Housing, SJEC moved 158 program participants through 30 units of housing. The turnover was the result of program participants securing stable employment and transitioning into unsubsidized housing.

“The HMIS Coordinated Entry grant will further expand the Coordinated Entry system to connect people experiencing homelessness with housing opportunities throughout the County,” said Pam Moseley, project coordinator for the Pima County HMIS.

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