CHICAGO, Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Apartments.com launched its inaugural Help for Homeless Grant Program by inviting not-for-profit homeless service providers from across the country to apply for grants totaling $100,000. Nearly 500 organizations that tirelessly work to combat homelessness applied for grants to support programmatic or operational expenses directly benefitting the homeless population. Today, Apartments.com announces the homeless service organizations that will each receive grants of up to $10,000 for the important work they do.
"Having a place to live is a basic human need, and so closely tied to the core nature of our business. That is why throughout the years we have chosen to support organizations that work to help the homeless," says Dick Burke, president of Apartments.com. "Apartments.com is thrilled to expand our efforts this year by providing grants to 16 organizations that serve a distinct segment of the homeless population through innovative programming and services in local communities. We were pleased by the tremendous response we received from hundreds of top-notch organizations who applied for funding through our inaugural grant program. It was wonderful to see the depth and breadth of work being done in cities across the country that benefits this vital cause."
There is an overwhelming need for the more than 3 million people in the U.S. who experience homelessness each year. While Apartments.com realizes that the contributions made through their Help for Homeless Grant Program will not bring an end to homelessness, it is their hope to help change a few more lives one step at a time. To that end, the 16 charitable organizations that will receive funding from the inaugural Apartments.com Help for Homeless Grant Program include:
- ALIVE! (Alexandria, VA) – $10,000 Grant
ALIVE! (ALexandrians InVolved Ecumenically) serves 23,000 Alexandrians annually with shelter, early childhood education, emergency food, deliveries of donated furniture, and financial assistance for rent and other critical needs. Grant funding will support the operations of the ALIVE! House Shelter, and its services to shelter residents. ALIVE! House provides transitional housing and individualized services to women and families, including financial literacy lessons, case management, parenting classes, educational support and employment counseling. ALIVE! House has the capacity to serve four families in a home-like environment at one time.
- Connections for the Homeless (Evanston, IL) – $10,000 Grant
Connections for the Homeless serves 1,000 people annually, and works to end homelessness by preventing people from losing their homes, providing housing, and helping their clients to reach the greatest level of self-sufficiency possible while preserving individual dignity and keeping families intact. Grant funding will support the Connections EntryPoint Street Outreach Program designed to identify, engage and ultimately move more homeless into housing. EntryPoint provides a range of outreach and support services to people living on the streets, including showers, storage facilities, access to computers and phones, food, clothing, health stabilization services and contact with case managers.
- JOIN (Portland, OR) – $10,000 Grant
JOIN exists to support the efforts of homeless individuals and families with children to transition off the streets and into permanent housing. They provide housing placement services to 500 people annually. Grant funding will support the JOIN Home Again Project, which provides move-in costs for new households including apartment application fees, security deposits, and first and last month's rent. By paying for these expenses, JOIN opens doors to housing and the opportunity for a better life.
- Literacy Lab (Washington DC) – $10,000 Grant
The mission of the Literacy Lab, which serves 1,000 low-income children annually, is to break the cycle of poverty by providing homeless children with early exposure to literacy and direct instruction in reading in order to improve their academic outcomes and increase their opportunities in life. Grant funding will provide 150 children and their families with a literacy-rich environment over the course of a school year by supporting the Ready to Read program for children up to age 5, and their families, who reside at the DC General Family Homeless Shelter.
- Mobile Loaves and Fishes (Austin, TX) – $10,000 Grant
Mobile Loaves and Fishes currently serves 40 residents and provides at least 75 meals to the homeless every day of the year. Grant funding will support their Community First! Program, which lifts the chronically homeless off the streets into permanent housing in gently-used RV homes. While residents are responsible for paying rent and utilities, Community First! provides a supportive community that empowers men and women to achieve self-sufficiency. Mobile Loaves and Fishes currently maintains 40 RVs in several parks and is planning to open a Community First! Village in 2014 to house 200 formerly homeless individuals.
- Bethesda Cares (Bethesda, MD) – $5,000 Grant
Bethesda Cares serves nearly 1,000 clients experiencing homelessness annually and will use grant funding for costs associated with moving a person experiencing long-term homelessness into an apartment. Funding will cover security deposits, first and last month's rent and shopping for a few brand new sundries – a particular joy for many clients who may not have had anything "new" of their own for years.
- Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (Chicago, IL) – $5,000 Grant
The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless was founded more than 30 years ago on the premise that in a just society, housing is a human right. Grant funding will be used to work with families, youths and adults to advocate for better lives through access to shelter, housing, jobs and schools. Community organizers offer monthly outreach at more than 20 emergency shelters and transitional housing facilities across Chicago, reaching out to mothers with children, unaccompanied youths, children and teens struggling to access public schools, ex-offenders and low-wage workers.
- People Serving People (Minneapolis, MN) – $5,000 Grant
Located in downtown Minneapolis, People Serving People's 10-story building is essentially a hotel whose primary form of hospitality comes in helping families overcome homelessness. Grant funding will be used for the emergency shelter they provide to 99 homeless families every night in Hennepin County. Families come to the shelter because of landlord foreclosures, job loss, financial crisis, evictions, overwhelming medical expenses, etc. – and they leave with stronger community connections, dedicated advocates, employment, stable housing and a chance at a better future.
- Social Advocates for Youth (Santa Rosa, CA) - $5,000 Grant
Founded in 1971 in a two-room office in Santa Rosa, Social Advocates of Youth's (SAY's) mission has always been to help strengthen families and give them the tools they need to be healthy, self-sufficient and successful. Today, SAY offers crisis counseling and community programs throughout Sonoma County. Grant funding will support SAY's Coffee House Teen Shelter, the only 24/7 emergency shelter in Sonoma County for runaway and homeless children ages 12 to 17, where youth can receive temporary emergency shelter and support services such as street outreach, food and community referrals, for up to 21 days.
- Homeward Bound (Marin County, CA) – $5,000 Grant
The goal of Homeward Bound's services, provided to more than 1,000 clients annually, is to end homelessness with training, housing and hope. Grant funding will support general operating expenses to help end homelessness in Marin County. With a current total of 500 beds, Homeward Bound offers housing services and a broad range of support each year at 14 interrelated facilities, including emergency shelter, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing.
- Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (Boston, MA) – $5,000 Grant
The Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA) serves more than 1,000 clients annually as a nonprofit public policy advocacy organization, with the singular mission of ending homelessness in the Commonwealth. Grant funding will help to support MHSA's increased operational capacity needs as the organization undertakes a significant social innovation financing endeavor.
- Macomb Emergency Shelter (Macomb, MI) – $5,000 Grant
Macomb Emergency Shelter serves 635 people annually, and their goal is to provide homeless and displaced individuals with the opportunity for successful transitions to independence. Grant funding will provide rental assistance and support services to 10 families moving into affordable housing through the Journey Home Program, by locating safe, affordable rental housing and providing the security deposit and a portion of the first year's rent for children and their families who have income, a reasonable prospect to resume future rental payments and agree to accept case management services working towards self-reliance.
- New Orleans Women's Shelter (New Orleans, LA) – $5,000 Grant
New Orleans Women's Shelter (NOWS) is one of the few facilities in New Orleans that serves mothers and their children under nine years old and that accepts pregnant women. Also, a significant proportion of the families NOWS helps are facing homelessness for the first time. Through collaboration with more than 45 agencies, NOWS provides a continuum of case managed services tailored to benefit the homeless women and children it serves. Grant funding will provide assistance with rent and utilities upon successful graduation of women who complete their life plans and will support operational costs to further assist residents in transitioning to their own home.
- NYC Rescue Mission (New York, NY) – $5,000 Grant
Founded in 1872, NYC Rescue Mission currently serves 90,000 people annually by providing help and hope for the hungry, homeless and hurting men and women of New York City. The Apartments.com grant will fund the construction of NYC Rescue Mission's Transitional Housing for Homeless New Yorkers Expansion Project, designed to serve the homeless including returning veterans, at-risk young adults and homeless women in lower Manhattan.
- Upward Bound House (Santa Monica, CA) – $5,000 Grant
Upward Bound House is one of the few programs in the Los Angeles area that accepts dual parent families with children, homeless families with teenage boys and single parent families. Most of their clients are single moms with two children. Since it was founded in 1991, Upward Bound House has helped more than 600 families, including 11,000 children, transition from homelessness into permanent housing. Upward Bound House projects will help an additional 100 families in 2014 and grant funding will help provide families with their own safe, dignified apartment in the thriving communities of Culver City and Santa Monica. Each family receives intensive case management, financial literacy and housing placement support.
- Vogel Alcove (Dallas, TX) – $1,000 Grant
Vogel Alcove is a free therapeutic early childhood education center serving Dallas' youngest victims of poverty: homeless children ages six weeks to five years old. Grant funding will help Vogel Alcove to offer homeless parents a safe and nurturing place to leave their young children while they work to rebuild their lives. With a capacity of 115 children daily, Vogel Alcove serves homeless children living in one of 22 affiliate programs which include homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, transitional housing programs and community resources for homeless families.
"Apartments.com appreciates and has the utmost respect for the hundreds of organizations that applied for funding through the inaugural Help for Homeless Grant Program," adds Susan Bryant, vice president of marketing and media sales for Apartments.com. "The need for services and support continues to grow, especially given the current economy, and so we encourage not-for-profit homeless service providers to apply for grants in 2014."
The second annual Help for Homeless Grant Program will begin accepting applications in summer 2014 at www.apartments.com/grants.
Apartments.com (http://www.apartments.com) is a leading national apartment Internet listing subscription service with more than 50,000 unique addresses representing millions of rental units from managed properties, newspaper classifieds and for-rent-by-owner properties. By incorporating the most relevant products to reach renters including personalized searches and highly visual ads featuring live chat, real-time rent, online video walk-through demonstrations, professional photography, a mobile website and iPhone and Android apps, Apartments.com creates easy access to its listings. Providing unmatched exposure to its advertisers through an intuitive name, strategic search engine placements and featured partnerships and more than 120 newspaper websites and innovative emerging media, Apartments.com reaches millions of renters nationwide, driving both qualified traffic and highly-engaged renters to leasing offices nationwide. Apartments.com is a division of Chicago-based Classified Ventures, LLC. The Apartments.com network of apartment rental websites includes Apartment Home Living (http://www.apartmenthomeliving.com), a leading social media apartment website distinguished by a "live for fun" community experience, proprietary lifestyle matching and local living guides to help renters find their perfect place to live; Rental Homes Plus (http://www.rentalhomesplus.com), an online destination where house hunters who prefer to rent can choose from a robust inventory of houses, condos, town houses, duplexes and apartments from around the country; and Rentfish (http://www.rentfish.com), a national apartment website offering customizable searches by neighborhood, favorite coffee spot, sports arena, famous landmark and more.