MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Bartlett Housing Solutions, a nonprofit geared towards helping people with homelessness, is one of 21 organizations in West Virginia to receive part of $9,102,145.
The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Continuum of Care (CoC) awards. Bartlett received $348,121. Like everyone else receiving funding, the CoC awards were provided in the year-end stimulus package and as a means to help quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families in West Virginia.
We’re extremely appreciative of this funding. Particularly because it really assists us in carrying out one of the key measures of our mission, which is assisting people experiencing homelessness get to and return to sustainable housing, independent housing. And so it allows us to help support people both financially and intensive case management and their apartments. And it allows us to provide financial assistance for rental assistance, as well as case management services. HUD’s confidence in our organization and their continued funding is unbelievably appreciated.Keri DeMasi – Executive Director, Bartlett Housing Solutions, Inc.
The funding came through the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, which U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) are members of. In a press release announcing the funding, Sen. Manchin said the following:
“Many of our fellow West Virginians are currently experiencing homelessness, including children and families, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made this horrible issue worse. I am pleased HUD is supporting 21 organizations across West Virginia and continue to be incredibly proud of their efforts to provide safe beds and a warm place to sleep for our fellow West Virginians. We must continue to work together to address homelessness and ensure all West Virginians have a roof over their head each night.
Sen. Capito also shared her excitement about the possibilities created by this HUD funding.
“Creating a foundation that people in our state can rely on for housing resources and assistance is incredibly important, especially as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. The Continuum of Care program provides that support while also assisting West Virginians facing homelessness or threats of violence in their homes. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll continue working hard to bring funding back home that gives West Virginian’s the support they need when they need it.”
DeMasi said the funding is critical right now because there was already a preexisting homeless crisis that the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated.
She said it has directly impacted many people who were homeless and others who would have avoided being so if not for the coronavirus’s economic hardships.
“With COVID, we have seen an increased demand of individuals and families experiencing homelessness,” DeMasi said. “We’ve also seen an increased demand from people who are trying to maintain their housing, so they don’t have to come into homelessness. And that’s from a variety of sources, a lot of folks in Morgantown were working in the service industry.”
Many of the clients now at Bartlett or that Bartlett assists are former service workers, DeMasi said. They are struggling on all fronts, from housing to food to medication and all other necessities of everyday life.
That is why Bartlett’s executive director said she is “extremely appreciative” of HUD’s continued support. Additionally, she said, she is thankful for the community.
“This community has been unbelievably supportive of us through this pandemic and has allowed us to address these increased needs,” she said. “Of course, we’re appreciative of HUD, but this community has been unbelievably responsive to assist us as we’re trying to assist our community’s most vulnerable, so we’re greatly appreciative for that as well.”