The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Local Shelter Receives Grant From State

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in combination with the Supportive Housing and Shelter Plus Program, gave the $11.5 million to North Carolina to fight the escalating problem of homelessness. The grant was announced by Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., last Wednesday.

Chapel Hill and Carrboro's Inter-Faith Council received $349,125 of the grant. The entire grant will be used to support Project Homestart, one of the IFC's many programs.

Josh Diem, program director for Project Homestart, wrote the IFC's request for funding and said he was pleasantly surprised that it received the full amount requested.

Diem emphasized the importance of the program to families in the community. "(Project Homestart) offers transitional housing for homeless families," Diem said. "We provide a safe and stable place for 15 families to live for up to two years."

Diem said the facility houses families with adults who need schooling, out-patient drug treatment, shelter from abusive homes or financial and legal help.

"The need that's out there is greater than the number of spots, so applicants go through an interview process," Diem said.

Diem said families that live at the facility are subject to rules, curfews and a progressive level system.

Facility residents are required to pay $20 the first month, and each month's bill is $20 higher than the previous month's. At the end of their stay, the money is returned to them. "We don't expect people to leave with their picture complete," Diem said. "We're talking about adults who need to change and do things differently -- that takes time."

Chris Moran, executive director of the IFC, said the grant lifted a huge burden off the IFC, whose cash budget is $1.5 million. But he said the community should not forget the other programs that still are in need of support.

"The great majority of (funds) must come from individuals, foundations, organizations and local governments," he said. "It's critically important for us right now because our clients are experiencing enormous economic burdens."

Carlos Monje, a spokesman for Edwards, said the IFC was among the many social service organizations that received government grants and that the grant process was very competitive.

"Each shelter that applies has to write a grant describing their need," Monje said. "(The Department of Housing and Urban Development) has a scoring system they use to determine who gets what."

Moran said he is extremely thankful for the grant and that without it, the organization would have suffered.

"If we hadn't received this (money), it would have really forced us to find other sources of funds and curtail services. We wouldn't have been able to support our shelter and other outreaches."

The City Editor can be reached


To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel Victory Paper for November 20, 2023