With the help of a $2.7 million grant, Fontana will be taking several steps to address the local homelessness situation, including opening the cityâs first interim shelter later this year.
The Fontana Housing Department has been awarded the Family Homeless Challenge Grant by the California Interagency Council on Homelessness, the city said in a news release recently.
The grant funds will be used over a period of four years to fund various homelessness prevention projects:
â¢ Staffing/personnel at the Bridge of Hope Shelter
â¢ Construction costs to expand the Bridge of Hope Shelter to accommodate two families
â¢ Financial support programs to include rent, security deposits, landlord incentives, move-in costs, and utility deposits
â¢ Hotel/motel vouchers
â¢ Rental subsidies
â¢ Street outreach services, which will include transportation, supplies, medical expenses, and document processing fees for clients
Homelessness prevention is one of the City Councilâs greatest priorities, said Mayor Acquanetta Warren.
âThis funding will not only address the short-term needs but long-term needs as well,â she said. âFunding will provide access to a Residential Leadership Academy Program that is designed to encourage self-sustainability for the client/tenant while they are housed. Participants will receive classes, coaching, and counseling to increase skills, income, and confidence for self-determination. This program will also be teaching job skills, housing etiquette, and other relevant training for ongoing success.â
—– BRIDGE OF HOPE, the cityâs first interim shelter located in the core of Fontana, will be operated by the Fontana Housing Authority in conjunction with Water of Life Church/CityLink, said Monique Carter, a communications and marketing manager in the city managerâs office. CityLink has already been coordinating a homeless ministry for many years, providing hygiene kits, food bats, clothing, and blankets for needy individuals.
The non-congregate shelter will provide 6-8 beds and will house up to 32 persons per year for up to 90 days. The target population will be homeless families and individuals or families at imminent risk of experiencing homelessness with dependent minors.
The shelter will have 24-hour staffing and will work with residents in developing an individualized housing assistance plan and coordinate wraparound services and other services to get them document ready for permanent housing.
The facility is currently being rehabilitated and is expected to begin assisting clients this fall.
In order to receive assistance, clients can reach out to Water of Life Church/ CityLink for eligibility information and application processing, Carter said. The website is wateroflifecc.org/citylink-services/ and the phone number is (909) 803-1059.