On Wednesday at the Clare House in Spenard, Catholic Social Services announced a $150,000 grant from ConocoPhillips to help homeless families find permanent housing. 

Catholic Social Services Executive Director Lisa Aquino said:

A lot of them are currently in shelter but some of them aren't; some might be sleeping in challenging situations right now. With this support they're going to be able to move into an apartment, their kids are going to be able to have a place to do their homework and have their own bed at night. It will change the world.

The grant will help up to 10 families get into permanent housing by providing funds for costs associated with moving into a new place. 

According to Aquino, the money can be used for several things.

We're talking deposits, some help with first few, couple months of rent. But it also could be snow tires for their car so they can get to their job or a bus pass. It could be a new outfit so they can go to a job interview. It could be child care for their children. The kinds of problems that we all face when we're making a new start and to have a little bit of help and support in that in terms of financial assistance is so— it goes so far, it goes so far to creating a new future with permanent stability.

The Community Housing Project started in 2016. It's a partnership between The United Way, Catholic Social Services, Rural Alaska Community Action Program and the Salvation Army. The grant will help continue to move the program forward.

"We have seen for years a lot of families suffering from homelessness and they have cycled into houses and out of houses," said United Way of Anchorage President Michele Brown, who also said people stabilize quicker when they're in a permanent home.

Families are assigned case managers to help navigate finances and deal with any issues they may have for their first year. She says around 70% of families remain in their homes when the year is over.

The grant money will be used in early 2020.

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