A state agency has granted almost $450,000 to Texarkana, Texas, to fund services for the homeless.
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs awarded the city $449,786 as part of a competition under its Emergency Solutions Grant program, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to a City Hall news release.
The goal of the program is to help the homeless and persons at risk of homelessness quickly regain stability in permanent housing.
The city applied for ESG funds as part of the Texarkana Homeless Coalition, a partnership of homeless services providers including Randy Sams' Outreach Shelter and Ark-Tex Council of Governments.
The funding is important to provide expanded services and coordinated access in Texarkana, said Jennifer Laurent, THC Homeless Count Committee chair and executive director of Randy Sams'.
"The expanded ability to serve, paired with the services offered from partner agencies, will make all the difference for so many seeking assistance. This funding will mean the difference between homelessness and remaining housed, finding shelter and obtaining housing for some.
This funding will truly continue to make a world of difference in our community," she said.
A coordinated community response to homelessness in Northeast Texas is important, said April Carl, regional development coordinator with ATCG.
"At the state and national level, added emphasis is being given towards working together efficiently with limited resources. Homelessness is too complex, and those currently without basic needs met are too valuable, for our service providers to not do everything possible to work together," she said.
Zee Carroll, city neighborhood services manager, said earning the grant was a team effort.
"This grant is another key piece of the efforts of the Homeless Coalition to work together through a coordinated entry system to address homeless issues in a comprehensive way.
"While there are only a few agencies named as lead partners, this would not be possible without countless other individuals, churches and organizations in our community dedicated to ending homelessness," she said.