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County seeks aid for homeless crisis

The Madera Tribune Fresno and Madera counties have coordinated together to apply for Homeless Emergency Aid Program grant funding.

Both counties declared a “homeless shelter crisis” on Dec. 5 and 18, respectively. The resolutions were necessary to apply for the financial aid.

If the one-time grant is approved, the state will allocate $9,501,363 to the Fresno-Madera Continuum of Care to serve the homeless in both incorporated and unincorporated areas of Fresno and Madera counties through June 30, 2021. These services may include:

• 24-hour/7-day-a-week housing-focused emergency shelter;

• Shelter for those assessed and awaiting permanent housing;

• Strategies to help those in a housing crisis quickly identify and access safe alternatives to an emergency shelter;

• Housing relocation and stabilization services along with rental assistance and essential services necessary to reach out to unsheltered individuals.

• HEAP funds also require that 5 percent ($475,069) be set aside to serve homeless youths.

The Rescue Mission will be the hub for local efforts, according to Anthony Duhon, chief of staff for Madera County Supervisor Robert Poythress, District 3.

The Fresno County Department of Social Services will be responsible for administering HEAP funds, if any, to the continuum and designated service providers under the continuum’s jurisdiction.

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