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County gives $1 million for food, shelter
June 25, 2012, 05:00 AM Daily Journal Staff Report
Seventeen county agencies, along with two that serve both San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, will receive $1 million in grants aimed at agencies that help needy residents receive food and shelter.

The county, along with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, are jointly providing a $1 million pool for local agencies similar to those issued in previous years. The county received 32 proposals seeking nearly $2 million in funding; of those, slightly less than half qualified. Approved agencies fund programs for low-income and disadvantaged children and adults, help newly vulnerable families and individuals hit by the economic downturn and support agencies that serve residents in the county’s areas where the need is greatest.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will sign off on the agencies recommended for funds. They include $540,000 to seven core service agencies like Samaritan House, Pacifica Resource Center, Puente la Costa Sure, Coastside Hope, North Peninsula Neighborhood Services, El Concillio and the Fair Oaks Community Center.

Second Harvest Food Bank, Shelter Network and HIP Housing are recommended for awards totaling $275,000. The Ecumenical Hunger Program, Senior Coastsiders and St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room are recommended for $50,000 in grants for food assistance. The St. Vincent de Paul Family Resource Center and Project WeHOPE, a winter warming shelter in East Palo Alto, are recommended for $45,000 for shelter, housing and rent assistance.

A total of $85,000 in other grants is allocated with $10,000 to HandsOnBay Area to train volunteers for food-related nonprofits, $25,000 to Star Vista to help foster youth, $20,000 for meals to homebound seniors and those with disabilities through Peninsula Volunteers and $30,000 to the Mental Health Association to help clients apply for housing, benefits and other support services.

The county estimates the grants will help more than 20,000 families an individuals with food and an extra 3,000 with housing and other shelter.

The idea echoes a similar joint grant venture in March 2009 between the two entities in which 32 local agencies received funds that provided groceries, meals, shelter beds and client visits for 11,664 county residents. The Silicon Valley Community Foundation followed its 2009 grant efforts with another round of funding in 2010 but San Mateo County’s cash-strapped budget did not afford them the opportunity to participate.

The Board of Supervisors meets 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 26 in Board Chambers, 400 County Government Center, Redwood City.

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