Kanawha County agencies awarded funding to better fight homelessness

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Six Kanawha County agencies that fight homelessness in the Kanawha Valley now have a little more resources as of Tuesday.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank Pittsburgh), in partnership with the West Virginia Housing Development Fund, awarded $291,000 in Home4Good grant funds to Covenant House, Kanawha Valley Collective, Prestera Center, Rea of Hope, Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center, and YWCA Sojourner’s.

“This is an excellent day for me and for a lot of our partners,” Traci Strickland, the Director of Homeless Programs at the Prestera Center said.

The Prestera Center was awarded $50,000 of that funding for street outreach. Strickland said the grant will go towards the expansion of needs in Kanawha, Boone, Putnam and Clay counties. Currently, there is only funding for street outreach in the city of Charleston, per news release.

“What I believe is that street outreach is the first step in ending homelessness,” Strickland said. “We have to go out, we have to find people where they are and have to engage them into services.”

Representatives from all the awarded agencies were on hand at MVB Bank in Charleston to give thanks and honor the work being done to end homelessness in the area.

All six agencies awarded have different roles in the community, Strickland said. The Covenant House was awarded $36,000 for homelessness prevention, Kanawha Valley Collective was awarded $60,000 for service expansion, HMIS oversight and flex funds and $13,881 for Continuum of Care administration, Rea of Hope was awarded $65,000 for the Rea of Hope Fellowship Home, the Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center was awarded $30,000 for transitional living for veterans experiencing homelessness, and the YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter for Homeless Women and Families was awarded $36,621 for the YWCA of Charleston.

“Each agency is doing something slightly different with the money,” Strickland said. “That is what the beauty of a continuum of care is, is everybody does their piece to the puzzle in ending homelessness.”

The awards were also made possible through the partnership of MVB Bank and City National Bank with FHLBank member institutions.

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