david-wilkins_web.jpgTALLAHASSEE — The Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) Secretary David Wilkins  announced $2,031,337 in grant funding to help local groups implement their care plans for the homeless.

“The ongoing economic recession has left many Floridians in financial crisis," said Secretary Wilkins. “It is imperative that we work with our communities to empower at-risk families with the resources necessary to get them back on their feet. This grant does just that.”

DCF’s Office of Homelessness administers the state’s Challenge Grant program from state general revenue according to Florida Statute.

This year, the grant will support services at 133 local agencies helping the homeless with temporary housing and essential services, including meals, transportation, health care, education and employment. The grant will also assist at-risk families with financial aid to help families remain in their housing.

More than 36,000 people in Florida are expected to be helped including individuals, families, youth aging out of foster care, persons with mental illness or substance abuse issues, victims of domestic violence, and veterans.

The homeless assistance Challenge Grant was created in 2001 to help implement services and activities contained within local homeless continuums of care plans. These plans detail the community vision for coordinating efforts to prevent homelessness.

The grants are being awarded a month before National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, which takes place every year the week before Thanksgiving.

A list of this year’s grant recipients is available at:

To learn more about the Challenge Grant, visit the DCF Office on Homelessness website:

Photo: David Wilkins