Urbana City Council Approves Funding Agreements for Federal Social Service Grants


Nearly half a million dollars in federal funds will go to local social service agencies, under agreements approved by the Urbana City Council Monday night. Council members quickly approved 13 grant agreements drawing from the city's share of federal Housing and Urban Development money.

John Schneider runs Urbana's Grants Management program. He says the 495-thousand dollars in grants reflects increases in some areas and decreases in others. But Schneider says they money never keeps up with the need.

"It seems like, as in every year, it's really never enough to fund all the agencies that need funding," says Schneider. "There'll always be an ever-increasing demand, because there's an ever-increasing number of people requiring social services."

The programs to be funded by the grants include transitional housing for the homeless, financial aid for people with AIDS and HIV, a shelter for runaway and homeless youth and construction of affordable but super-energy efficient home prototypes.

Monday night's approval of agreements for the federal grants is part of an annual process that begins each winter. Schneider says Urbana is the lead agency for housing grants that also cover Champaign and unincorporated Champaign County. But he says the other social service grants focus on Urbana --- Schneider says the Champaign City Council and Rantoul Village Board make their own decisions on grants aimed directly at their communities.

Story source: AP