Governor Rick Scott today directed the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) to file a budget amendment to redirect funding for homelessness prevention services. The Florida Legislature provided DCF spending authority in the FY 2018-19 budget for the Challenge Grant, but did not provide dollars needed to fund these important services. DCF has identified $3.1 million in funding that may be redirected to help fill this gap – a process which requires legislative approval through the Legislative Budget Commission.
Governor Scott said, “While it’s concerning that that this funding was not provided in this year’s budget, I am proud that DCF will be able to redirect money to combat homelessness. I encourage the Legislature to quickly approve this budget amendment that will fund programs that served nearly 13,000 Floridians last year.”
DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said, “DCF staff worked diligently to identify every opportunity to continue funding for this important program. I want to thank Governor Scott for his continued support of our work with all our federal and state partners to help every individual in need have a safe place to call home.”
Challenge Grant funds are directed to local agencies that coordinate homelessness services to provide housing and support to individuals and families in communities across the state. This grant served approximately 13,000 individuals last fiscal year, primarily through rapid rehousing and prevention, as well as case management. Other services include emergency shelter and vouchers, housing management information system entry and employment services.
This funding, if approved by the Florida legislature, would be in addition to $1.7 million in federal Emergency Solutions Grant funding that will carry over and be allocated to the Challenge Grant for homelessness services. There will also be approximately $5 million in Emergency Services Grant that will be allocated to Florida from Department of Housing and Urban Development at the beginning of the next federal fiscal year, October 2018.
For more information on the DCF Office of Homelessness, click HERE.