Catholic Social Services gets $5M grant to help homeless Anchorage families
An Alaska nonprofit is getting $5 million to work on solving family homelessness. The Day 1 Families Fund is granting the money to Catholic Social Services - Alaska.
In a news release CSS says the money will boost its current programs and establish a pilot program to help keep families out of shelters by helping them find alternative housing.
“This grant will make an enormous impact on our community by expanding the work Catholic Social Services does every day to support families in homelessness to transition to permanent stability,” said CSS executive director Lisa Aquino. “We believe that this funding will propel us, together with our partners, to achieve functional zero in family homelessness in the Anchorage area.”
CSS runs Clare House, an emergency shelter for women and children as well as Homeless Family Services, offering shelter and community-based management for clients.
Services currently offered through CSS include:
• Safe shelter
• Employment assistance
• Medical care
CSS held a press conference Friday in celebration of the grant. One person in attendance said she was directly affected by the organization and says the grant has a lot of value.
"It's a great deal of money," Shana Montgomery said. "Not only for the community but for the children. It's something that the children don't realize, but of course to the parent it does; it means a lot. The happiness that it brings to one's heart, the children feed off of the physicality basically. The emotions that go behind the emotions."
The Bezos Day One Fund started last year with a $2 billion commitment from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his now ex-wife MacKenzie. Its two branches focus on grants for programs dealing with homeless families and preschools in under-served communities.
Bryan Dunagan contributed to this report.
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