DCF Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist

Robert A. Butterworth

October 10, 2007 850-488-4855

Children and Families Awards $5 Million in Housing Assistance Grants
- Dollars will provide shelter for youth aging out of foster care and adults with mental illness -
JACKSONVILLE, FLA.- Department of Children and Families Secretary Bob Butterworth today presented $750,000 in grant dollars to the Emergency Services & Homeless Coalition of Jacksonville for transitional housing for youth aging out of foster care. The grant dollars awarded in Jacksonville are just a portion of the $5 million statewide total distributed to provide homeless housing assistance in Florida.

"These grant dollars are vital to our continued efforts to fighting homelessness in our state," said Secretary Butterworth. "With these dollars, our communities can provide housing to individuals who otherwise, have no place to turn for shelter."

Emergency Services & Homeless Coalition of Jacksonville and Jacksonville's Youth Crisis Center will use the grant award to develop 45 new housing units in New Life Village, a facility that offers housing and services to youth in the Jacksonville area. The new units will allow young men and women, ages 16 to 21, to transition out of the state's foster care system to independent living.

In addition, the Department announced grant awards to eight homeless organizations in the following counties: Broward, Charlotte, Hillsborough, Leon, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Pinellas. Statewide, the grant awards will help create 414 units of housing for the homeless population. The projects will serve a cross section of the Department's clients including youth aging out of foster care, persons with mental illness or substance abuse addiction and adults with disabilities.

As of January of this year, census data reveals 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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