Allegheny County’s Community Human Services (CHS) is using a $100,000 Home4Good grant to double its outreach to individuals who are struggling with homelessness and behavioral health disorders.
The expansion of services would not be possible without five FHLBank Pittsburgh members who served as Home4Good co-applicants: Brentwood Bank, S&T Bank, SSB Bank, Standard Bank and WesBanco Bank.
The Home4Good grant is helping CHS stretch beyond traditional affordable housing services to provide behavioral health assessments, medication management and psychiatric services to individuals who are homeless. CHS expects to double its outreach by increasing its hours of operation and hiring additional qualified staff.
Colin McWhertor, Chief Service Officer for CHS, explained the need for program expansion. “Individuals dealing with mental illness and homelessness live in a cycle that is hard to break,” he said. “The Home4Good grant is allowing us to take behavioral health services to the streets, with the goal of transitioning people to more traditional behavioral health treatment and eventually to stable housing.”
Kate Swanson, Community Investment Manager for FHLBank Pittsburgh, explained how Home4Good grants often support innovative solutions that might not be addressed by traditional funding sources. “Home4Good’s flexibility puts problem-solving into the hands of local providers who best understand the needs of their communities,” said Swanson. “As a result, we are seeing homeless solutions that are both innovative and targeted to the most critical needs in various geographic areas.”
Home4Good is a unique partnership between FHLBank Pittsburgh and the state housing finance agencies (HFAs) in Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It provides grants for activities, programs and services that aid the prevention and diversion of homelessness.
In 2018, Home4Good’s inaugural year, $4.8 million in grant money from FHLBank Pittsburgh was boosted by partial matching grants from participating HFAs, pushing the total funds earmarked for homeless services to more than $7 million and funding 80 projects that might not have occurred otherwise.