Riverside County Receives $1.82M in Funding for Homeless, Hunger Programs

Riverside County will receive $1.82 million in federal homelessness funds, almost double of last year’s allotment.

The additional funds come as social service agencies throughout the county experience a higher demand for their services amidst the economic downturn, said Ronald Stewart, manager for the county’s Department of Public Social Services homeless programs.

“Stories of people losing their jobs and home are becoming alarmingly common,” Stewart said. “The funds will allow us to continue helping those in need, including residents who find themselves on the brink of homelessness for the first time in their lives.”

The increased funding highlights a federal awareness of these new episodically homeless population segments, Stewart said. Social service providers are increasingly seeing people who can’t afford shelter but are not chronically homeless, and need help navigating the resources available to them.

DPSS will administer the federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds, which will become available late spring. A local board will determine which agencies will receive funding through a competitive process based on unemployment and poverty levels of the population served.

Congress made available $200 million in funding to support qualifying jurisdictions’ social service agencies in more than 2,500 cities and counties nationwide.