The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded over $3 million in grant renewals for homeless coalitions. Volunteers of America is constantly trying to get people off the streets, and know without the money helping others would be a challenge. "Whether we have sufficient housing and is it affordable? We have a sufficient number of vulnerable populations,” Terri Brock, HOPE for the Homeless. "We developed some homes, some residential situations where they could come and live. We were able to help them be in homes, some for the first time,” said Brandeburg.
Seventeen agencies in north Louisiana will benefit from the grant. For the past several years, Shreveport has received the second highest allocation in Louisiana, only behind New Orleans. Even though many charitable organizations saw a dip in donations after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, loyal donors have been helping keep local agencies alive. The agencies apply for the money as one block grant each year that way organizations are not duplicating services and everyone is applying for all possible grant opportunities. "More of us competing for a lot less money and as a result the bar is being raised, it's actively harder for us to successfully achieve our award status,” commented Brock.