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2002 News from Mecklenburg County

December 23, 2002

 

FEDERAL GRANT WILL PROVIDE HELP WITH HOUSING FOR SOME OF COUNTY'S HOMELESS: THE MENTALLY ILL, DISABLED AND RECOVERING SUBSTANCE ABUSERS TO BENEFIT

Charlotte, NC -- Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health Authority (AMHA) was awarded federal grants totaling more than $1.76 million to help the community's homeless find stable housing while receiving needed mental health treatment and other services to help them become self-sufficient.

 "These dollars will make a significant contribution toward assisting homeless people in reaching greater levels of self-sufficiency, while still residing in the community," said Bruce Melosh, program administrator, adult case management, for AMHA.

 The grant money is part of almost $13 million awarded to the state from the federal department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in its Continuum of Care homeless assistance awards.

 Melosh works with the Shelter Plus Care Project and his program received two renewal grants and a grant for a new five-year program. The Shelter Plus Care Project provides housing vouchers and the program allows the consumer to rent market rate housing from participating private landlords, but pay no more than one-third of their gross income toward the rent and utilities.

 The two renewal projects -- which will be used to help participants already in placement with the program -- will fund 84 rental subsidies that will serve 100 to 125 homeless disabled consumers and their families over a one-year renewal period. The grant renewal awards total $690,984.

 The new Shelter Plus Care Project grant is $759,120 and will fund 20 rental subsidies that will serve 75 to 100 homeless disabled consumers and their families over a five-year period. The vouchers will be used for disabled individuals with chronic mental illness, such as schizophrenia; people with AIDS, and chronic substance abusers in stable recovery. Referrals are made through community agencies that serve the homeless. Participants must meet income and disability requirements to qualify. For additional information about eligibility, contact AMHA housing coordinators Patricia Setti at 704-336-6562 or Melissa Zhiss at 704-432-0197.

 In addition to the Shelter Plus Care Project, another AMHA program that provides services to the mentally ill received $316,764 in HUD grants. The ACCESS Homeless Project offers assertive street outreach, intensive case management, psychiatric treatment, and integrated services to the homeless with mental illness. The goal of this program is to reduce homelessness, improve living standards and provide a safer environment for consumers and the community at large.



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