DCF Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist

Robert A. Butterworth

September 4, 2007 (850) 488-4855

Children and Families Secretary Awards $2.1 Million in Homeless Grants

TAMPA, FLA. - Department of Children and Families Secretary Bob Butterworth today announced the award of $2.1 million in state "Challenge Grants." The grants, awarded annually, will support services to nearly 20,000 homeless in Florida, including families with children, youth aging out of foster care, persons with mental illness, individuals with substance abuse issues, victims of domestic violence, and veterans.

"This money will allow local homeless coalitions to provide the prevention and intervention services needed to keep people off the streets," said Secretary Butterworth. "And that's especially important when you consider that children account for a significant portion of our homeless population."

This year's grant recipients will use their award dollars for a variety of services including building transitional and emergency housing to provide homeless families, or families on the verge of becoming homeless, affordable alternatives to today's housing and rental markets. The funding will also provide for emergency housing assistance on the front end, so families in danger of being evicted can remain in their home. Recipients will also use funds to provide food, clothing and transportation to members of the homeless community who lack basic necessities.

The Department awarded the grants to 22 agencies serving 42 counties including: Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Columbia, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Hamilton, Hillsborough, Indian River, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okaloosa, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Taylor, Volusia, Wakulla, and Walton. The Department awards the grants to agencies that demonstrate their ability to provide quality services in their area with a track record of success in receiving grant money and private cash for services.

As of January of this year, census data reports more than 60,000 individuals are homeless in the State of Florida. In recent years, homeless grant dollars awarded through the Department's Office on Homelessness have helped Florida expand homeless services to 62 counties, covering more than 95 percent of the state's population. For more information on the Florida Department of Children and Families Office on Homelessness visit http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/homelessness/.


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