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18Dec

Federal Award Aims to Reduce Homelessness Among Foster Youth, Keep Families Together

Bucks County Courier Times

The Bucks County Housing Authority will work closely with Bucks County agencies to identify youth who are most at risk of homelessness and families whose lack of adequate housing is the primary reason their children are in foster care.

Families who are struggling to provide a home for their children and young adults who have aged out of the foster care system will be getting more help with housing costs come spring, federal housing officials recently announced.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $1.5 million to three public housing authorities in Pennsylvania, including the Bucks County Housing Group, which will get $778,610, enough to help 82 families and young adults stay in their homes, officials said.

The program would come to the rescue of families that are at risk of their children being placed in the foster care system because of a lack of affordable housing, said Jon Rubin, Bucks County’s Director of Housing and Human Services.

The vouchers will help keep many Bucks County families united, he said.

“The vouchers are for parents involved with Bucks County Children and Youth who are facing imminent placement of the children in out-of-home care due to the family struggling to provide adequate housing and for young adults coming out of the foster care system who are homeless or at risk of homelessness,” Rubin said.

In addition to help with the bulk of housing costs, families and young adults would be eligible for other county support, including help for education, job training, transportation, food and other needs.

“We are looking at the needs of the whole family so they can achieve self sufficiency on their own,” Rubin said.

While the Bucks County Housing Authority will administer the vouchers in April 2019, Bucks County Children and Youth will determine the families and young adults eligible for the assistance.

The housing authority will work closely with Bucks County agencies to identify youth who are most at risk of homelessness and families whose lack of adequate housing is the primary reason their children are in foster care, he said.

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