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Policy change works to provide permanent housing for the homeless, rent payments to those on brink of eviction

Posted by Iahmed on June 23, 2009

The Grand Rapid Press, May 27, 2009;  By: Ron Cammel

GRAND RAPIDS — A state policy shift will help a local effort to reduce the number of shelter beds for homeless people and increase permanent housing.

The Department of Human Services will allow area Emergency Shelter Partnership funds to go toward rental subsidies. The funds previously only could be used to reinburse homeless shelters and pay for hotel stays.

“Our 10-year plan is very consistent with this,” said Janay Brower, director of the Grand Rapids Area Coalition to End Homelessness.

“Allowing more flexibility with these funds enables a coordinated community response that will better serve the individuals’ and families’ long-term housing needs,” said Ismael Ahmed, DHS director, in a press release.

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