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Human Service grants address housing in Arvada


Of the $210,000 given to area nonprofits by the city of Arvada Human Services grants, the majority of them focus on services geared toward residents maintaining or gaining housing.

“This year we gave extra thought to agencies providing rental assistance given the rising housing cost and rise in homelessness,” said Tom Reynold, human services advisory committee member, who gave the recommended funding presentation to Arvada City Council Oct. 23.

Of the funds given, $135,000 came from the general fund with an additional $75,000 from the federal Community Development Block Grant.

“I appreciate your emphasis this year on housing and homelessness issues,” Mayor Marc Williams told the Oct. 23 presenters.

The Arvada Community Food Bank will receive three grants for three of their programs, totaling $66,250 in assistance.

Funds for emergency food assistance for low-income households through the food bank equals $30,000. The service feeds about 1,100 families a month in their coverage area — stretching north to 120th Avenue, south to 26th Place, east to Sheridan Boulevard and west to Highway 93.

Sandy Martin, executive director of the Arvada Community Food Bank said that number is increasing.

The food bank does more than supply food. It also run a housing voucher program, which screens applicants from the food bank who could qualify for Section Eight housing. This voucher program received $14,250 in funding from the city to use to pay landlords in which clients receive housing from. Martin said clients pay 30 percent of the housing fee and the voucher will pick up the remainder.

The food bank is allowed up to 25 vouchers to place people in need of housing, Martin said.

The third Arvada Community Food Bank program receiving funding is the client financial assistance program, which offers financial assistance for clients that need help paying utility bills, rent assistance and paying for medications. The food bank took this program on when Inter Church Arms, the organization that previously provided it, closed.

“They closed their doors the end of May and this very valuable program left a hole in our ability to help clients,” Martin said. “We went forward to pick up that program.”

Arvada Food Bank’s movement into focusing on more than the food program, the organization is working on rebranding to reflect all the services being provided to the community, Martin said.

Other housing assistance initiative being funded by human services money are the Jeffco Action Center rental assistance and family stabilization programs; Archway Housing and Services for assistance at Willow Green; and Family Tree’s homelessness program.

An additional $229,000 in CDBG funding will go to the city’s essential home repairs program or seniors and low income families.


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