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Mayor Bibb, County Executive Chris Ronayne announce grant funding for homeless programs as Bibb extends availability of city warming centers after a winter snow storm....By Clevelandurbannews.com, Ohio's Black digital news leader

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CLEVELAND, Ohio-Cleveland Mayor Justin M. Bibb and Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne(both pictured) have announced awardees of multiple grant programs who will utilize the funding for outreach and engagement, emergency shelters, support services, and prevention tactics.

The efforts, they say, are aimed at improving conditions for the local un-housed community in the city and county, a 29 percent Black county that is a Democratic stronghold.

In total, seven local agencies will receive more than $3 million for an array of programming designed to support youth, families, and older adults in un-housed situations.

The announcement comes as poor families and the homeless seek shelter following a snow storm Thursday and Friday that brought some 12 inches of snow and freezing temperatures that hit Northeast Ohio with a vengeance.

“Tackling an issue as large and systemic as this requires a more concerted effort from us here at City Hall to our nonprofit organizations, our philanthropic partners, and other key stakeholders,” said Mayor Bibb in a statement.  “My administration is exploring additional ways that we, as civic leaders, can step up and become more directly involved in finding solutions to this problem.  This is just the beginning.  We’re working with a tremendous sense of urgency and have more exciting announcements on the horizon.”

The funding, allocated by the city’s Department of Community Development and the county’s Office of Homeless Services (OHS), will assist individuals with regaining stability by connecting them with permanent housing options following an un-housed situation.

Those receiving grants include the Emerald Development and Economic Network (EDEN), Journey Center for Safety and Healing, Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, Catholic Charities Corporation, Salvation Army, West Side Catholic Center, and the YWCA of Greater Cleveland.

The awarded agencies will use the money towards programs at the Men’s Shelter, Norma Herr Women’s Center, Bishop Cosgrove Center, St. Augustine Hunger Center, North Point Housing, Moriah House Family Shelter, and the Zelma George Family Shelter.  EDEN will use more than $1.2 million to provide rapid re-housing while the other funds will be used to provide overnight beds, day shelter and meal assistance, domestic violence services, disabilities housing, operational costs support, and other essential care.

“Cuyahoga County is fortunate to partner with many dedicated service agencies who work tirelessly to ensure that anyone experiencing a housing crisis will have the resources and support that they need,” said Executive Ronayne, a Democrat who succeeded Armond Budish into office.  “It is crucial, now more than ever, to fund these vital programs, and I commend the Ohio Department of Development for its support.”

Last week, the city announced that it is opening several of its recreation centers as warming sites in anticipation of the cold weather and have since extended the dates they will be open.  More than 100 individuals have utilized the warming sites throughout the week.  Anyone seeking overnight shelter should call 2-1-1 who will be able to connect you with a variety of shelter and overnight housing options.  The County’s OHS coordinates a continuum of care, which includes prevention, shelter services, and permanent supportive housing.  For more information, visit their webpage.

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