• “ HEAP” Funding Announced: Olympia Shelter is a Go

    By Wanda Sue Parrott
    Initial funding has been approved for conversion of an old county-owned mobile health unit into a shelter for homeless women and children at 1292 Olympia Ave., Seaside. 
    The grant for kicking off the project will, hopefully, be the beginning of a growing fund that supplements the initial $12 million Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) money for municipalities in homeless-crisis modes (and nonprofits that serve them) in San Benito and Monterey Counties.
    HEAP money is likewise being distributed all over the state, with requests for funds exceeding the actual amount of funding available.
    Announcement of the HEAP funds a few months ago broke the long spell of boondoggling that held local communities captive while homelessness spread like untrimmed kudzu vine all over the peninsula. Seaside took an active role in applying for funds.
    The Olympia Shelter money is less than originally sought by the two non-profit agencies that will co-partner in administering the project, known as “The Olympia Shelter”, the Gathering for Women and Community Human Services. Future challenge will be to find funding to keep the project up and running.
    Rehabilitation of the mobile unit located behind the Monterey County Department of Social Services is scheduled to open in 2020.
    It is a cooperative partnership between City of Seaside and County of Monterey that will serve homeless women and children from the entire Monterey Peninsula.
    Distribution of the funds was decided Wed., May 29 by the Leadership Council at a meeting of the Coalition of Community Homeless Service Providers at the Veterans Transition Center, Marina.
    Seaside’s applications for three other programs failed to qualify for funding this time around, but could come up for reconsideration if the HEAP program is continued.
    For a detailed report, please see this week’s edition of Monterey County Weekly, in which Pam Marino’s excellent coverage appears replete with facts and figures. I was not able to attend.
    I will include more details as I become apprised of them, so watch for next week’s “Homeless in Paradise” column.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on May 31, 2019

    Topics: Uncategorized

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