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Alabama to spend COVID-19 grant money on homelessness

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A state agency will award local institutions grants to combat and prevent homelessness. Governor Kay Ivey is sending almost three million dollars to thirteen institutions and cities for homeless resource centers and programs. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs receives funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Each recipient had to fill out a grant application explaining how the money will be spent. Kenneth Boswell is the director of ADECA. He says the grant program is important because many residents need the help.  

“Some people don’t have as many opportunities as others, and two is, with what has transpired in the last 18 months to two years with this Covid, I mean you have some people that are down on their luck and that need help. This is the primary benefit that the dollars are for,” Boswell said.  

Most recipients have yet to receive their money. This is because each institution is required to fill out the necessary paperwork to accept their grants. Boswell believes the pandemic has made homelessness a relevant issue in the state. He just doesn’t know how much…  

“I can’t say that it hasn’t, but I can’t say that it has,” said Boswell. “From my perspective, again these are grants that we normally do every year, but I can’t help but think personally that it would have had some impact on it. At to what degree, I can’t determine that.”  

No new numbers have been reported. But, the U.S. Interagency Council of Homelessness reported that more than three thousand Alabamians were homelessness in 2020.

Joshua LeBerte is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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