Since the County Homeless Trust Fund was signed into law on September 8, 2009, eight counties have established them and $1.2 million dollars have been raised to prevent and end homelessness.
How have these funds been used?
In Mercer County, they have competitively contracted for $370,000 of Homeless Trust Fund Dollars with contracts starting on November 1, 2013.
The services that were funded include:
Production of Permanent Affordable Housing, expansion of Robinson House at the Rescue Mission of Trenton ($130,000)
Prevention Services including back rent, mortgage, utilities and a shallow subsidy program to provide a minimum amount of rental support over a long term for SSI or SSDI recipients to avoid eviction. ($120,000)
Supportive Services Only (SSO) for individuals who are receiving rental vouchers for chronic homelessness and are in need of supportive services. ($120,000 resulting in SSO for 18 individuals receiving vouchers).
In addition, Mercer County has $280,000 (approximately) that was collected during the 2013 fiscal year and Mercer County will be requesting proposals for those funds in July of 2014. It is assumed that SSO is an ongoing repeat expense that will have to be funded annually to insure these individuals remain housed.
Over the next few weeks, we will be providing updates on how the other seven counties have used their Homeless Trust Funds.