Fed grant to aid area homeless

A program serving the disabled and homeless in Jackson County received a $137,000 grant in January from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It was the largest of four local grants given through HUD's Continuum of Care program to local agencies dealing with the homeless.

Home at Last, a part of Disability Advocacy Social Independent Living, or DASIL, has worked to provide housing to the disabled and homeless since 2005.

"People appreciate the service we provide to people," DASIL Director Kate Baxsted said. "It's a success, which is why we are renewed year after year."

Approximately 38 percent of homeless people have a disability, according to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development study in 2009.

"People with disabilities are the highest population that are homeless," Baxsted said. "They never have any stability."

The $136,957 directed to the program will fund classes on tenant rights, legal aid, prescription medications, transportation and rent, Baxsted said.

"Classes might help people to understand what they can do to maintain housing and what their responsibility is," the director said. "Knowledge can stabilize and empower."

In all, HUD provided $317,558 for housing assistance and support services for homeless individuals and families in Jackson County, part of $18.1 million awarded to 35 organizations in Oregon.

Other social service agencies receiving money from HUD's Continuum of Care program include: The Salvation Army, Medford Citadel HOPE house, $50,000; Woodrow Pines 2010, $10,901; and Community Works Transitional Living Program, $119,700.

Local communities and agencies are required by HUD to collaborate to provide prevention outreach, emergency shelter and supportive services for homeless individuals and families in addition to housing options.

Agencies also are required to collect data and information demonstrating the effectiveness of their programs.

Nia Towne is a reporting intern.

Share This Story