ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — After participating in a program from the Attorney General’s office to bring municipalities together to learn about homelessness, the City of Elmira applied for and received a $1 million grant to combat this issue.
Elmira was one of ten cities that participated in an “anti-displacement learning network” for a year and a half. The Department of Social Services, Economic Opportunity Program, Catholic Charities, and the code department were all involved.
Emma Miran, Director of Community Development for the City of Elmira, said the city had the opportunity to apply for funding based on a strategy it put together to combat homelessness.
A topic that arose was a need for people to have more case management around housing. Miran said people need more assistance whether that is due to substance abuse, a criminal history, or something else. So, one of the components to the plan was to hire a case manager that could provide that assistance.
Miran said in collaboration with the Economic Opportunity Program (EOP), there are two elements to the funding the city received.
[The EOP] will be hiring a staff member who will be an outreach coordinator. They will go into neighborhoods in the community and provide access to resources and information. We are hoping that they will connect individuals with agencies like LawNY, which provides legal aid assistance and gives people more information about housing, what it means to be a renter, and about their rights as a renter. We think that information would help people in the city and prevent situations of homelessness. We know that it is really hard to get people back into their home after the fact. So, we are really trying to focus on preventing displacement and preventing people from becoming homeless. The other component of what the funding is going towards is relocation funds. We have another pot of money to do rehab work on rental properties that are in such bad shape that code might cite them or they might cause displacement. So, we have a pot of money to help relocated people temporarily while we do work on those properties.Emma Miran – Director of Community Development for the City of Elmira
Miran said of the $1 million grant, $300,000 is going towards the relocation and the outreach coordinator for three years. It will fund the position and the management of the location. The rest of the funding is going towards the city rental properties that are being worked on.