Federal money flowed in again this year to help stabilize local families in need, but the dollars aren’t going as far as they have in the past.
Housing Solutions for the Southwest received $139,910 this week for a transitional housing program that serves mostly women and children fleeing domestic violence, said Elizabeth Salkind, executive director of Housing Solutions. The organization is based in Durango and serves a five-county region.
The grant helps subsidize housing for families and helps the group’s staff connect families to jobs and education, said Lora Sholes, transitional housing program manager.
About five years ago, the program was able to serve about 15 families, but the rising cost of rent has limited the number of people the program can reach. Currently, families wait about eight months to enter the program, Sholes said.
Housing Solutions is unable to apply for additional funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and so it is looking for other funding sources to expand the program.
But Sholes is pleased the organization has been able to maintain HUD funding over the years.
“Every year, we’re actually on the chopping block,” she said.
HUD officials look for a high percentage of families moving into permanent housing, employment and earning a higher income.
A competitive selection process helps ensure local clients complete the two-year program.
“They really have to want to be part of the program; that’s key to their success,” Salkind said.