By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer
Area agencies fighting to prevent homelessness received $90,000 in grants from the Iowa Finance Authority this week to help their cause.
Information, Referral and Assistance Services received a $30,000 grant through the IFA’s Shelter Assistance Fund. Pathway Living Center received $60,000.
Information, Referral and Assistance Services Director Regan Michaelsen said the funds will be used for rental and utility assistance throughout the year. This is the first time her organization has applied for these types of funds after a previously used grant program went in a different direction.
“I thought we were going to be cut out completely. So, to get the $30,000 is phenomenal,” Michaelsen said.
The funds will be budgeted to last the entire year and supplement the combined $20,000 budget the organization already has for utility and rental assistance.
Last year Information and Referral provided utility assistance to more than 550 people and rental assistance to 200. Those numbers have continued to grow, making the bump to a $50,000 budget for the assistance services helpful, to say the least, Michaelsen said.
“This is huge for us,” Michaelsen said.
Shelter Assistance Fund applications are accepted on an annual basis and are judged through a competitive process. The Iowa Finance Authority received 39 eligible applications for the 2013 round requesting more than $1.3 million in funding. The program is funded with proceeds from the Real Estate Transfer Tax, of which $900,776 is available for the 2013 Shelter Assistance program.