Four eastern Iowa counties are addressing homelessness. Community Solutions of Eastern Iowa was recently awarded $1.1 million in emergency rental assistance funding to be used for Delaware and Dubuque counties, as well as Clinton and Jackson counties to help the homeless find permanent housing.

Community Solutions of Eastern Iowa works to improve the viability, livability, and environment of the cities and counties located in their region. They do this by addressing the identified needs citizens to help enrich their lives. Current programming includes: Homeless Prevention and Housing Services.

attachment-East Central Intergovernmental Association
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In addition, the Continuum of Care – Special Needs Assistance program is a permanent supportive housing program which helps those who are chronically homeless and have either a substance abuse issue, mental health diagnosis, or has been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS. This program uses the housing first model. This allows Community Solutions of Eastern Iowa to help those who qualify obtain housing first, and then address the barriers that have kept them homeless. Individuals are placed in case management, with supportive services put in place and verified on a monthly basis to help ensure stability and success.

Side view of homeless men bed and an orange blanket. Belongings in the front.
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Another tool used to combat homelessness is the use of the Emergency Solutions Grant or ESG. This is federally funded program that provides temporary rental assistance to individuals and families who are homeless; as defined by, residing in a shelter or place not meant for human habitation. The application process focusses on clients who present the greatest need so they can be served first. The ultimate goal is to work with their case manager on budgeting, housing stability, crisis plans and exit strategies to ensure stable housing. Amount and duration of assistance are determined based on client interactions and progress. 100% rental coverage is not guaranteed with the hope of client contribution.

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ESG funds are also used to support staff in providing Street Outreach efforts to individuals and families who are residing in a place not meant for human habitation. Staff members with the Community Solutions of Eastern Iowa are able to meet with clients where they are residing and work on immediate needs, such as shelter, food, health, clothing, and transportation among other things. One of these programs is "Rapid Rehousing;” which rapidly connects families and individuals experiencing homelessness to permanent housing through a tailored package of assistance that may include the use of time-limited financial assistance and targeted supportive services. For more information on the many services that Community Solutions of Eastern Iowa provides visit ecia.org today.

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