The Salvation Army is looking to tap into some federal and state funding this year and needs the city’s help to do so. During Tuesday’s City Council work session Jonathan Strong spoke to the council about the organization’s hope continue its service in the Kodiak community, and add some new programs as well. Strong is the case manager for the Salvation Army’s transitional housing program in Kodiak. He said the organization is requesting the city help them provide a certification of local government approval.
“It’s basically part of a verification process to ensure that tax payer supported funds, like this Emergency Solutions Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD, are awarded to non profit organizations who are in good standing in the community and are asking for funds, in good faith, to provide assistance to the community.”
Strong said they are requesting $29,264 from the Emergency Solutions grant and that money will be put toward funding two specific areas of work the Salvation Army does locally.
The first one would be homeless prevention services for Alaska Native and Non Native residents in the Kodiak area that meet the rental assistance needs requirements. Basically people who are in imminent danger of losing their home or rent for various reasons.
Strong said it would also help families and people in times of emergencies.
“Assistance for families and individuals who are displaced for natural disasters. Specifically just recently the mudslides. We were able to house a family who was displaced from the mudslides. So that’s the first area, homeless prevention.”
The next area the organization hopes to acquire funding for is permanent housing placement services for individuals that successfully complete the Salvation Army Kodiak Transitional Housing Program.
“We have a transitional housing program here in the community for individuals who have completed substance abuse residential treatment and are coming back to the island and need some help transitioning back, finding work, stable housing. Our goal is to serve about 10 individuals who have completed that substance abuse residential treatment, now they’ve completed transitional housing, and those funds will go toward payment of maybe first months rent, deposit, utility bill deposit for properties that are not operated by the Salvation Army.”
Many Council Members were in favor of supporting the organization as they pursue grant funding, including Councilman Rich Walker.
“Well first of all I’d like to say Salvation Army does a great job in our community. And I’ve seen them work personally with family members and friends in town and quite frankly if you guys weren’t there there’d be a lot of people in deep, deep hurt and I’m 100 percent for getting on board with you guys and trying to get this grant.”
In years past the Salvation Army has acquired funding from Alaska Housing, but he said that won’t be so for these next few years, which is why they are looking at the Emergency Solutions grant.
The certification for the grant will require a name and signature from a local government official and the council decided to have Mayor Pat Branson do the honors.