Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist

George H. Sheldon

November 18, 2010
MEDIA CONTACT: DCF Communications
(850) 488-4855

$2 Million Awarded to Local Communities to Help
Vulnerable Floridians Move From Homeless to Housing

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As Homeless Awareness Week kicks off, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) today announced $2,031,337 in grant funding to help local groups implement their care plans for the homeless. DCF’s Office of Homelessness administers the state’s Challenge Grant program from state general revenue according to Florida Statute. (List of 2010-2011 Challenge Grant Recipients.)

“"he economic hardships Florida families often face are daunting. Long-term solutions to end homelessness depend on ensuring each individual or family has the financial ability to find and maintain housing they can afford,” said DCF Secretary George Sheldon. “We are committed to helping our fellow Floridians achieve economic self-sufficiency and secure safe and stable housing by helping local programs."

The grants, awarded annually, will provide services to about 35,000 homeless people in Florida including individuals, families, youth aging out of foster care, persons with mental illness or substance abuse issues, victims of domestic violence, and veterans. The grant money will assist local programs ranging from emergency aid to avoid eviction, outreach and referral services, emergency housing, food and feeding programs, health care including medications, help securing identifications, as well as permanent housing options.

The homeless assistance Challenge Grant was created in 2001 to help implement services and activities contained within local homeless continuums of care plans. The continuum of care plan details the community vision for coordinating efforts to prevent homelessness. Examples of efforts include directing those who become homeless to services; providing emergency sheltering; ensuring the availability of supportive services for health, education, employment and family needs; and making permanent housing available.

To learn more about the Challenge Grant, visit the DCF Office on Homelessness website at