HUD Funding Crisis
In May, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its final funding decisions for 2016 regarding projects that serve and house the homeless population. As a result, JOURNEYS | The Road Home, a Palatine-based agency that provides effective, comprehensive services to the homeless and at risk persons through its HOPE Center, will lose $187,000 of its annual funding.
In addition, when the current Illinois state budget impasse began, JOURNEYS was prepared to see a rise in those coming for help as other agencies needed to shut down programs as the effects of the state's financial crisis were felt. For the past 11 months, JOURNEYS, who does not receive any state funding, has served this increased demand, an over 11% increase, without additional funds.
In 1999, HUD awarded the HOPE Center a Federal Grant, providing the means to serve the community with free case management counseling, free medical care, and other services. This May, HUD refocused its efforts on housing grants, rescinding funding for supportive services. The loss of funding represents 21% of the overall agency budget.
Without HUD funding, the HOPE Center will no longer be able to offer counseling and one-on-one support for the homeless and at risk populations of the Northwest suburbs. Currently, between 40 and 60 people per day visit the center, which provides, on average, over 20,000 services to almost 1,100 individuals annually.
Having a support system helps to keep the constituents off the streets and create a foundation for living. Without long-term support, many will re-enter homelessness within 5-10 years. "Affordable housing is imperative to assist in ending homelessness," said Beth Nabors, Executive Director of JOURNEYS, "but it is irresponsible to provide housing without offering supportive services. When you give a chronically homeless person a place to live independently, you are simultaneously taking them away from their peer group and isolating them from the life they have become accustomed to. Support and services are necessary in order to assure that the person is prepared for the responsibility and expectations of being housed."HUD will fund JOURNEYS through October 2016. To make up the difference, the HOPE Center is requesting additional donations on their website:www.journeystheroadhome.org
JOURNEYS | The Road Home provides shelter and social services to the homeless and near homeless in 37 communities in the north & northwest suburbs of Cook County. JOURNEYS mission is to individually assess and serve the homeless and near homeless, while broadening community awareness and involvement with the homeless.
JOURNEYS provides a wide array of services, including mental health counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and housing assistance, all geared to help our constituents achieve independence. Along the way, 18 faith-based emergency shelter sites provide dinners and a safe, warm place to sleep from October through April. The HOPE Center is open Monday-Friday from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.
Recent articles about JOURNEYS' Funding Cuts:
Palatine homeless agency faces uncertainty as a result of federal funding cuts By Doug T. Graham, Daily Herald
HUD slashes funding for Homeless Support Services in Palatine By Bill Pohlman, Palatine Patch
From the community: HUD slashes funding for Homeless Support Services in Palatine By Bill Pohlman, Arlington Heights Community, Chicago Tribune
Lester: Where will suburban homeless go after Journeys cuts? By Kerry Lester, Daily Herald