Shuster announces grants to help homeless in Blair County

Congressman Bill Shuster is pleased to announce that the Blair County Community Action Agency (BCCAA) has received a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development totaling $540,667 to provide transitional housing support for homeless residents throughout the county.
The grants are part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s ongoing Continuum of Care program to provide permanent and transitional housing to homeless persons. In addition, Continuum grants fund important services including job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care.
“These grants will make a positive impact on families and individuals who are working towards a better life,” Shuster said. “The Blair County Community Action Agency works every day to help people look for homes, jobs and a stable environment. Their work is crucial in improving the lives of our neighbors and strengthening our communities. These grants will help them in their mission.”
“With these funds, the BCCAA will be able to help families in Altoona get the support they need to move from homelessness into stable, productive lives,” said William Hunter, III, BCCAA’s Deputy Executive Director. “These grants are crucial in allowing our organization to improve the lives of men, women, and children who are looking for a way out of poverty. I thank Congressman Shuster and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for their continued support of this grant program.”
Blair County Community Action Agency will use the recently approved HUD Supportive Housing Program grant to operate a Transitional Housing Program in Blair County and the City of Altoona. The program will operate for a three-year period of time beginning July 1, 2007. BCCAA will operate twenty transitional units for homeless families. Program participants will be eligible to live in the transitional housing units for up to 24 months. The program targets individuals and families that are homeless and either living in the streets or in shelters.
“The homeless must not become invisible or marginalized,” said Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. “Our response tells us much about our humanity as a people and a nation. When our fellow citizens literally need shelter from the storm, or a meal, or counseling, or help to regain their footing in life, we must be there to respond.”