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Tue, Jan. 28

Federal grant money goes to help local shelter renovation

PRESCOTT - The nonprofit Prescott Area Shelter Services (PASS) recently renovated a building to provide temporary housing for as many as six homeless families - a project funded in part by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money allocated through the City of Prescott.

"Prescott Area Shelter Services is a model organization that supports the most vulnerable in our community, and helps families transition to permanent housing," Prescott Mayor Marlin Kuykendall said in a city news release. "We are proud to support their efforts by helping to create a safer and more comfortable environment for their guests."

Kuykendall added that the city "laid the groundwork that led to Prescott receiving CDBG funds, enabling us to make this significant contribution to the PASS for this facility."

PASS has received more than $100,000 from CDBG funds in recent years, allowing them to renovate their new facility, a three-story house located at 337 N. Rush Street in Prescott, stated the news release. It added that the house is leased for a nominal amount from PASS's partner, Disabled

American Veterans Prescott Chapter 16.

The CDBG program, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), helps communities provide decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expanded economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income. HUD allocated $235,000 to the City of Prescott in 2015 for the grant program. Funds are distributed to community service providers for their facilities.

The CDBG Citizens Advisory Committee reviews all applications and makes recommendations on funding allocations to the Prescott City Council. This year, the Council approved grants to eight local groups, including PASS, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Arizona, Prescott Meals on Wheels, the Alzheimer's Association, West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, Habitat for Humanity, Coalition for Compassion and Justice, and Agape House.

"Meeting the needs of homeless families in Prescott is a top priority of the City's CDBG program," said Jerry Jones, Chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee.  "Prescott Area Shelter Services supplies quality transitional housing to help those in need become independent and reenter society with purpose and dignity."

Prescott Community Development Director Tom Guice noted that the PASS facility "needed significant upgrades to be code compliant, including the installation of fire alarms and sprinklers. It was also necessary for them to rebuild some of the window frames to meet life-safety requirements, and upgrade a restroom to make it handicap-accessible."

Other renovations included resurfacing floors, and creating a partition on the main floor to create an extra room to allow one additional family to be sheltered. Prescott Area Shelter Services also received donations from the community, including Architect Robert Buford who donated his services to draw plans and coordinate construction work.

The drug-free, alcohol-free facility will shelter homeless families with children, and empowers women and families to move from crisis to stability by providing temporary housing, resources, individualized case management and a pathway to permanent housing. 

 "We are truly thankful for this important grant from the City of Prescott," said Jacqui Schlosser, Executive Director of PASS. "We want our clients to be working and independent, but it's very difficult to do that if you don't have housing."

Guice said PASS would be able to occupy the building once the final inspection has been done by the City. "This is going to be a safe structure for six families," he said.

For non-profit organizations interested in applying, the city will conduct a grant workshop from 1 to 3 p.m., Dec. 10, at the Prescott Public Library Founders Suite, 215 E. Goodwin St.

The deadline for grant applications to the city is Feb. 25, 2016. More information on the application process or timing is available by contacting Isabel Rollins at Isabel.rollins@prescott-az.gov or at 928-777-1143.

Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-642-0951.

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