03/03/08 — Eastpoint awarded grant to fund housing project

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Eastpoint awarded grant to fund housing project

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on March 3, 2008 1:45 PM

Working with a $388,400 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Eastpointe, the local mental health agency serving Wayne, Lenoir, Duplin and Sampson counties, is hoping to be able to provide housing for about a dozen families this year.

"It's to help clients we serve with mental illnesses, substance abuse problems or who are developmentally delayed, get into an apartment," Eastpointe Director Ken Jones said.

The goal, he explained, is to help them and their families become self-sufficient.

The grants, which will be based on housing need, income and disability status, will be given out after July 1.

If a recipient has no income, the housing will likely be provided for free, but if a recipient does have an income, he will likely be required to contribute up to 30 percent of it for rent.

Keeping regular mental health visits also are part of the deal, though recipients will likely be coming from clinical referrals anyway.

"We know there are plenty of clients out there who need this service," Jones said. "But we will focus on getting the clients we serve who are homeless into this care first."

Then, once those clients are identified, he continued, they will be put through a screening process before receiving help in choosing an appropriate apartment based on their location, family size and other needs.

The grant is expected to provide housing for these families for about five years, though Jones is hoping to apply for an additional one later this year.

"Hopefully we'll receive enough funding to open up 10 or 12 more apartments this year," he said.

It is the first time such a grant has been awarded to Eastpointe.