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City commission votes to use ARPA funds for rapid re-housing pilot program

Tuesday, August 15, 2023–8:01 a.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

The Rome City Commission has voted unanimously to contribute $710,000 to a proposed rapid re-housing program that seeks to address homelessness in the community.

The program is a partnership, primarily between the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority and the United Way of Rome and Floyd County. Other partners include Hospitality House, the Davies Shelters, the Family Resource Center, and the Salvation Army.

26 units at Willingham Village in West Rome have been set aside for the pilot program.

The city’s contribution will come via American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The model provides short-term (under 3 months) and medium-term (3 to 24 months) services for eligible Floyd County households that have successfully completed a shelter care program or are enrolled in the United Way’s Community Case Management program.

“The space we are stepping into with the pilot program is after sheltering, or before sheltering is necessary,” said Alli Mitchell with the United Way of Rome and Floyd County. “Right now, what is happening is that individuals are going into shelter care, and they are doing everything they are asked to do. Then, at the end of their stay, there is no housing for them to go to because all of our shelters are 30, 60, or 90 days max now, except for Hospitality House.”

Mitchell added that while the shelters are investing in excellent care and are doing their jobs, there is a need for filling the next gap.

“The goal is pulling people out of shelter care or keeping them from having to enter a shelter while they are precariously housed,” she said. “If we see an eviction on the horizon, if they lose a job, or that kind of thing, we bring them here. Three to six months is probably going to be our typical range. We can have it all the way up to 24 months. That’s probably going to be someone like women with children, for example. A minimum of 26 households will go through here. We are estimating it will be at least twice that, but this will take people into permanent housing from here. “