Block grants earmarked to help those in need
By Susan Frick Carlman firstname.lastname@example.org February 5, 2013 9:46PM
Updated: March 7, 2013 6:19AM
Federal grant funds distributed by Naperville this year will benefit several nonprofits based in the city, including an entity that puts roofs over the heads of families who otherwise might be homeless.
The recipient of the largest slice of the $528,065 pie — including $400,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and reallocated money from past grant rounds — will use the money to maintain apartments it provides for low-income families on the city’s north side.
Bridge Communities’ five buildings on Crabtree Court, home to about two dozen families, will undergo exterior rehabilitation work using the $100,000 award.
“This is certainly a very generous grant, and we’re very grateful that the city of Naperville is supporting us in this way,” said Amy Van Polen, resource development director for the Glen Ellyn agency.
Bridge has been engaged in a capital campaign for its 19 properties, six of which are in Naperville, raising $4.7 million so far toward its $5.5 million goal. Most of the agency’s support comes from private donors; only about three to four percent is government funds, Van Polen said.
“We really appreciate the relationship with Naperville and feel blessed to be a part of the community,” Van Polen said.
Also in line for $86,381 is Naperville Elderly Homes, which requested the funds for kitchen renovations.
Other awards will go to DuPage Public Action to Deliver Shelter, Naperville CARES, the Naperville Heritage Society, and the city itself.
Karyn Robles, transportation and planning team leader for the city, said the $34,778 allocated for grant administration will cover a portion of the salary and benefits associated with a $100,000 expansion of the social services grant program next year that was approved by city officials Tuesday night to increase drug abuse and suicide prevention efforts.
“This money allows us to have a position that is dedicated to the social services and CDBG programs,” she said.
The funds will enable the coordinator to provide the support services the recipients need to make the best use of their grant awards, Robles said.