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CURRENT ISSUE:  September 21, 2009
VOL. 47, NO. 16   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
Church officials encouraged by Obama’s health care talk
Catholic delegation seeks climate deal to ease burden on poor
$1.2 million to Catholic
Charities for housing help

Catholic Charities of the East Bay has received more than $1 million through two grants from the City of Oakland and Kaiser Permanente to help provide homeless prevention services to vulnerable families.

The City of Oakland’s Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Fund has awarded $1,241,000 to CCEB for programs and services aimed at individuals who are at risk of losing their housing or who have already done so.

The money, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, includes funding to expand case management and rental assistance services at CCEB’s Family Services Center at 433 Jefferson Street in Oakland in addition to a new site at the Eastmont Town Center in East Oakland.

The Kaiser Permanente Northern California 2009 Essential Services Grants Program has given $50,000 for one year to support CCEB’s Oakland Housing Plus program.

Michael Radding, director of programs at CCEB, said the grants “will allow us to add five new staff,” and help over 300 Oakland families. Two or three staff members will work at Eastmont, depending on the needs of that area.

The program will provide one-time financial assistance, housing counseling, case management and debt management to keep low-income Oakland families and individuals in their homes.

Radding hailed the City of Oakland grant, which comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, saying that it “represents a new direction” for that agency. “For years HUD has supported shelter and transitional housing programs, which have proved expensive and often disappointing in their results. Now HUD is saying it’s better to keep families in their homes with all the social service supports they need to maintain their housing.”

He said the grants will give CEEB the flexibility to help more families. “When a low-income family comes to us and is about to be evicted from their apartment, we can pay their rent and utilities, including up to six months back rent. If a family needs more than one-time assistance, we can provide up to 18 months of rent assistance, including case management support.”

Radding sees HUD as “taking the right approach” in its move towards stabilizing families where they already live.

Last year, CCEB served over 16,000 men, women and children and expects to serve over 17,000 by the end of 2009. Requests for housing and rental assistance have increased this year by 153 percent, said Colleen Miller, CCEB’s communications director.

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