LYNCHBURG, Va. – Homelessness continues to be a growing issue across the Commonwealth.
That’s why Governor Glenn Youngkin announced efforts to fund programs helping the homeless population.
Sarah Quarantatto is the director of Miriam’s House, a Lynchburg-based organization getting money from the Virginia Housing Trust Fund Homeless Reduction Grants.
“It’s really encouraging and obviously it’s great to be in a state that values people and knows that everyone falls on hard times, and we want to make sure we can help them when they do,” Quarantatto said.
Out of the $12 million in grants, Miriam’s House is receiving more than $271 thousand dollars for two different projects. Quarantatto said the majority of the funds are helping families and youth ages 18 to 24.
“We work with private landlords to find affordable housing, and then we pay a security deposit, first month’s rent and utility deposit with those funds. we also assign each household a case manager to provide supportive services,” Quarantatto said.
The rest of the funding is going to supportive housing for people experiencing long-term homelessness.
Quarantatto said there are nearly 600 people experiencing homelessness in their region and they expect more in the coming months.
“More and more families are going to need help in the coming months. It’s so reassuring to know that we have that help available. That we can step in. That children don’t have to sleep outside or in a shelter or in their car. That they and their family can move into the safety of a home,” Quarantatto said.
Quarantatto said they will use the money to continue to meet the need.
“I want to live in a community where no family has to experience homelessness, but when they do, there are resources to quickly get them back into housing,” Quarantatto said.
A number of other organizations in our area received grants, including New River Community Action and Council of Community Services.