UPDATED! PCHTF Announces 2017 Programs & Supportive Services Grantees

Over $600,000 awarded to ten outstanding programs

UPDATED! PCHTF Announces 2017 Programs & Supportive Services Grantees

Everyone needs a safe, stable, and affordable home. But for many low-income people in our community, finding and maintaining a suitable place to live can be a challenge. Polk County Housing Trust Fund recognizes that an investment in supportive service programs makes the difference in helping these people successfully find and stay in their homes.

The Combined Campaign for Housing raises money each year to help hundreds of the most vulnerable people in our community. Over the past 20 years, nearly $8 million has been allocated to aid in services like homeownership counseling, case management, job training, financial education, and finding affordable homes, with the long-term goal of helping Polk County residents become more self-sufficient.

At its June 2 meeting, the PCHTF Board approved over $300,000 to seven programs that have demonstrated their ability to help Polk County residents work toward a brighter financial future. [UPDATE: The PCHTF Board approved an additional $72,500 at its August 4 meeting, due to an exceptional response from our donors. The figures below are updated.] Congratulations to these funded programs:

·       Advantage Services, operated by CommonBond Communities received $37,500 to assist residents in their Bloomsbury and Stewart Park developments through afterschool homework help, employment counseling and crisis intervention.

·       Blueprint to Homeownership, operated by Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity received $70,000 to equip families for homeownership.  The households are instructed in issues of home maintenance and repair, financial responsibility and required to donate their “sweat equity” for the construction of Habitat Homes.

·       Home Connection, operated by Hawthorn Hill received $70,000 to increase formerly homeless families’ self-sufficiency through financial education, credit repair and employment counseling.

·       Permanent Supportive Housing, operated by Central Iowa Shelter Services, received $40,000 to assist residents of its 38-bed permanent housing facility in adjusting to permanent housing from homelessness.

·       Shelter + Care, operated by Anawim Housing, received $60,000 to ensure that disabled residents coming from homelessness achieve stability in permanent housing through intensive case management.

·       Stable Families Program, operated by HOME Inc., received $17,500 to prevent evictions of families with school-age children through short-term financial assistance, mediation with landlords, and case management.

·       Transitions, operated by the Oakridge Neighborhood, received $75,000 to offer cultural and language skills, employment readiness and basic education for their residents, many of whom are new to Iowa and the United States.

UPDATE: At its August 4 meeting, the PCHTF Board also approved $210,000 in additional allocations as part of its Capacity Building program. This program is funded through state and Polk County dollars, and seeks to create new affordable housing without lifting a hammer - by stretching subsidy dollars further, preventing foreclosures, or connecting people with new landlords. Together, they created or preserved over 500 homes last year. Congratulations to these three programs that have produced exceptional results for another year:

·       Self Sufficiency Program, operated by Anawim Housing, received $70,000 to provide job training and case management services to its permanent supportive housing clients, allowing them to stretch subsidy dollars further and provide more units with the same amount of government support.

·       Foreclosure Defense Project, operated by Iowa Legal Aid, received $40,000 to offer legal support that helps low-income families stay in their homes when threatened with foreclosure.

·       Housing Navigator, operated by Primary Health Care, received $100,000 to help people facing barriers to housing connect with local landlords willing to rent to them.

These programs are offered thanks to the generosity of our local business community. While Polk County Housing Trust Fund receives public money to maintain and develop affordable housing options, we cannot fund supportive service programs without private support. One hundred percent of private donations received go directly toward funding these programs. Thank you to all the donors who make these programs possible, and to the hardworking staff of these organizations for brightening lives in our community.