(MURFREESBORO) On Thursday evening the Murfreesboro City Council approved the acceptance and application of federal HUD grants to address homelessness. The city is eligible for possible 2019-2020 Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funding to assist non-profit service providers that will help the homeless.
The $150,000 in grant funding plus $11,250 administrative allowance allocation is provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA). To qualify for the emergency funding, the City of Murfreesboro conducted public notice and outreach in February 2019. The funding to local non-profits is based on applications received and reviewed by Community Development staff.
"The City of Murfreesboro was one of four jurisdictions in the State of Tennessee eligible to apply for ESG funding," said Patty Pope, Grant Administrator of Community Development. "With Council approval and the Mayor's signature, we will submit all supporting documentation to THDA."
"Homeless," according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, means any individual or family who lacks "a regular, and adequate nighttime residence." This includes people living in a place not meant for human habitation, such as in a car, under a bridge or in an abandoned building, or in a shelter."
On related grant funding, as the Collaborative Applicant for the Murfreesboro/Rutherford County Continuum of Care, the City responded to a Notice of Funding Availability in September 2018 for a Planning Grant. HUD recently awarded the grant to the City in the amount of $18,503. The funding is to be used to support the Executive Director of the Housing, Health and Human Services Alliance of Rutherford County (H3ARC) in planning initiatives such as coordination of activities and project monitoring.
H3ARC, through its member agencies, is a continuum that provides services to homeless individuals or individuals in danger of becoming homeless. As a HUD-recognized care provider, H3ARC is required to maintain data through the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). The planning grant allows continued development of HMIS data through H3ARC.
The City completed Phase 2 of a competitive grant notice, titled "Homeless Management Information System Capacity Building Project" available to existing Continuum of Care Program recipients, with submission to HUD on March 25, 2019. The grant amount request is for $146,300. If awarded, the funds will be distributed to H3ARC under a Subrecipient Agreement. It will provide for a full-time HMIS coordinator and a part-time data quality control staff along with training and travel expenses. H3ARC is required by HUD to maintain data on individuals served through HMIS. Getting precise data is the first necessary step in pursuing long-term and sustainable solutions to homelessness.
No City matching funds are required.
Employed in the Fall of 2018 by H3ARC with funding from both the City and Rutherford County, William H. Kraus is executive director of (H3ARC). In his role as executive director for H3ARC, Dr. Kraus builds connections and support from the variety of agencies currently serving low income and homeless populations in Rutherford County as well as the many public-sector services in local, state and federal government. Effective fund-raising in the non-profit sector, working with HUD and community agencies, has been one of Dr. Kraus's major career achievements.