Public Funds Just Seed Money in Fighting Homelessness

May 5, 2015

Federal Community Development Block Grant funds account for more than half of the dollars allocated to local social service programs this week.

County supervisors on Tuesday readily accepted a plan to spend nearly $2.8 million in federal funds on projects to address homelessness and poverty in Sonoma County. But they know the annual grants are not keeping pace with the local needs.

  Since the 2008 recession kicked in, Social Advocates for Youth has recognized a need to reduce their dependence on government funds to support their programs, says Executive Director Matt Martin.

Public funds now account for 69% of SAY’s annual budget. Jennilyn Holmes, director of Shelter and Housing for Catholic Charities, says the case for private support of programs to ease poverty and homelessness can be based on two interlocking reasons.