Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott

David E. Wilkins

June 16, 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: DCF Communications
(850) 488-4855

DCF's Northwest Region Receives Federal Funding to Combat Homelessness

PENSACOLA, FLA. – The Department of Children and Families is pleased to announce federal funding from The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development for two projects to assist community homeless programs in the Northwest Region.

The EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless and The Okaloosa/ Walton Continuum of Care "Opportunity Inc" were two of 691 projects nationwide to be chosen. The EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless received $142,499 to provide housing for homeless individuals. The Okaloosa/Walton Continuum of Care "Opportunity Inc" was awarded $33,167 for a project for a Veterans Housing Program.

"DCF is committed to supporting our most vulnerable neighbors and these funds allow our front lines to help bring an end to chronic homelessness by providing services to the many individuals and families without a home of their own," said Janice Thomas Circuit 1 Administrator for the Department of Children and Families.

"A recent study commissioned by the Department of Defense indicates that the two most dangerous periods for our vets are the first month overseas, and the next six months following their return home," said Executive Director of Opportunity Lenore Wilson. "The incidence of suicide and accidental death claims nearly as many lives as that of combat. Unemployment rates for vets are 2 percent higher than for the general population. We can and will do better for our vets. This grant offers more beds for permanent housing, help with mental health and substance issues, support in obtaining employment. It's one more small step in showing our vets we honor their sacrifice, and we care about their lives back here at home."

HUD's Continuum of Care grants fund a wide range of transitional and permanent housing programs as well as supportive services such as job training, case management, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care.