Westbrook grant aimed at homeless

WASHINGTON – Westbrook Health Services has been awarded two grants to help the homeless on the road back.

U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller, along with Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., announced housing programs across West Virginia will receive a total of $842,303 through the Continuum of Care Program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Westbrook will receive an $85,312 grant for a new HUD project that will provide five homes and services for “chronically homeless” individuals.

“We are very pleased to be a recipient of this funding. This is a brand new program to provide five homes and ancillary services for the chronically homeless. Chronically homeless individuals are ones who could be homeless for up to one year prior to being placed or who have been homeless a number of times over the last three years,” said Dave Cisler, quality assurance director with Westbrook Health Services.

Cisler is chairman of the Mid-Ohio Valley Consortium of Care and a member of the board of the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness.

Cisler said the grant will fund five individual homes and support services through Westbrook.

The $36,437 grant is for an existing project in Jackson County, served through Westbrook.

“That is for a transitional housing program for individuals and families; the other grant is only for individuals. This is an existing program in Jackson County, and this grant is for continued funding for that project,” Cisler said.

This program works in conjunction with other transitional housing in Jackson County, officials said.

“The people of West Virginia have always embraced the concept of neighbors helping neighbors, and it’s important that many of our most vulnerable West Virginia residents have a place to turn for help and support in times of need,” Manchin said. “Because of this funding, West Virginians who are struggling to get by will have the opportunity to develop specific skill sets to help them return to the workforce, provide for themselves and their families, and contribute to our communities.”

“I’m so pleased Continuum of Care in West Virginia is receiving this funding boost,” Rockefeller said. “This program is vital to supporting local housing authorities, coalitions, and shelters in their work to rehouse newly homeless families. Across West Virginia, these organizations are critical to fighting homelessness and making sure West Virginians have a place to call home while they’re working to get back on their feet.”