Fredericksburg Regional CoC receives award in HUD’s Rural Homeless Assistance competition
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced awards totaling $315 million to 46 cities and localities across 30 states to address unsheltered and rural homelessness. The Fredericksburg Regional Continuum of Care (CoC) was one of the 46 communities awarded.
The CoC is the federally mandated coalition responsible for planning and implementing homeless services throughout Planning District 16, including the Counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford, and the City of Fredericksburg. Staffed by the George Washington Regional Commission
(GWRC), the CoC develops the community strategic plan for ending and preventing homelessness for the region and serves as the collaborative applicant for state and federal homeless grants.
In the most recent competition, the CoC has been awarded $135,684 in funding from HUD to assist households fleeing domestic violence in King George and Caroline Counties to return to permanent housing. In partnership with Empowerhouse, the community’s domestic violence provider, the CoC will
provide housing subsidies to survivors of domestic violence in the rural areas of our community using the Rapid Rehousing model.
“We are thrilled to have this new opportunity to meaningfully expand support to survivors of domestic violence.” says Tammy Torres, Assistant Director at Empowerhouse. “By providing housing services to two of our most rural counties, we hope to build on the good work being done by our community
The CoC has been using the rapid rehousing program for the past 15 years. The program provides timelimited housing subsidies and case management to assist households move back to housing as quickly as possible and stabilize to take over their housing costs on their own. The program has been successful in the community, boasting that 82% of people utilizing the program do not return to homelessness within 2 years after ending program participation.
GWRC submitted the community application for CoC funding back in October of 2022. The original request of $726,350 included funds for an Unsheltered Outreach project and CoC Planning as well as the Rural Rapid Rehousing funds. Though the Unsheltered Outreach and CoC Planning projects were not
funded as part of this announcement, the Fredericksburg Regional CoC’s rural homelessness project was the only project in the Commonwealth of Virginia to receive rural homeless assistance dollars.
“This application process was very competitive, and we are honored to have our strong partnerships, collaborations, and strategic planning processes highlighted by receiving even a part of the award.” says Sam Shoukas, Housing and Community Health Program Director at the George Washington Regional Commission. “Though we would always love to have our entire request funded, we are beyond grateful to be a part of this very selective group of communities receiving these one-time funds.” The funds are set to begin in July 2023 and will run through June 2026