Grant will help some of the hardest-to-help homeless

Grays Harbor County has received a federal grant that will provide housing for about 16 of the homeless people who have proved hardest to help.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development grant of $184,000, renewable annually, will be used to provide rent subsidies for people who have been homeless for a year and who have at least one disability. That could be a mental, physical or drug-related disability, for instance, said Cassie Lentz, housing resource coordinator for Grays Harbor County Public Health and Social Services.

The grant would pay for subsidized rental assistance for private market housing — apartments and single-family homes. It will pay the difference between the actual rent and what the homeless person can afford.

Lentz said the money will also pay for more intensive case management the individuals need.

Coastal Community Action Program will administer the program, under a contract with the county. The program will begin in the spring.

“This is such an awesome opportunity to serve our community,” said Craig Dublanko, CEO of Coastal Community Action Program. “This new program will help us expand our work to make sure those struggling with a mental illness or who have been out on the streets for a long time have a roof over their heads and access to services they desperately need. CCAP is excited to be a partner with Grays Harbor County to make sure we can give these clients the resources they need.”

“We are grateful for the support of our leadership and critical community partners who helped design and strengthen our application as well as their commitment to provide services to leverage these dollars,” said Lentz. “This is a new resource in our community, and our Housing Coalition has continually identified it as a gap and priority. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to invest these funds in our area and look forward to sharing about the positive outcomes to our community.”