Karen Rayzer, director of the city of Dallas's Environmental and Health Services, called this afternoon to offer further details concerning the $7.2 million in federal stimulus money the city's set to receive sometime in the fall. Says Rayzer, 14 local organizations submitted to the city proposals that had to fall under one of two categories: "homeless prevention" and "rapid re-housing." Among those requesting money for the former were: Catholic Charities of Dallas, Central Dallas Food Pantry, Housing Crisis Center, Interfaith Housing Coalition, Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, New Beginnings Center, Operation Relief Center, the Salvation Army and the Wilkinson Center. Those seeking rapid re-housing funds were Famlily Gateway, Family Place, Metrocare Services, Nexus Recovery Center and Shared Housing Centers. (The Bridge, she explains, requested money from a different pile to be dispersed by the state.)
But none of the agencies will receive a penny till their proposals are approved and contracts are signed by the Dallas City Council, most likely in August. Says Rayzer, her department has evaluated the proposals and ranked the requesting agencies' requests, but "the winners," as she puts it, won't be announced "till we're getting ready to take them to council." She expects the money to be disbursed in October, though HUD's earlier-than-expected announcement could shorten the time line. As for how the $7.2 million will be used, she says the money will go toward "short-term rentals, medium-term rentals, utility deposits, and housing relocation," among other desperate needs. (On a related note, Reuters just published a piece concerning the rise in motel-living among the newly homeless, and includes a family that relocated to Dallas from Minnesota that made just such a pit stop during "a weeklong transition between a homeless shelter and an apartment.")
Rayzer also sent along the Environmental and Health Services Department's Request for Competitive Sealed Proposals from May, to provide a better explanation of how the money is expected to be used. You can read the entirety of the PowerPoint here.
On a semi-related note, NBC Universal today announced that its foundation is doling out $1.25 million in educational grants. Four local recipients are among those to receive a slice of that pie: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, Communities In Schools, Dallas Concilio of Hispanic Service Organizations and Score a Goal in the Classroom.
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