P.A.T.H. and San Juan County Partnership receive grants from U.S. Housing and Urban Development

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FARMINGTON — Two Farmington-based non-profits will receive grants from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development department to support their efforts to assist homeless people in the community, according to a press release from U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-New Mexico.

People Assisting the Homeless (P.A.T.H.) will receive $44,640 while San Juan County Partnership will receive two grants totaling $244,248. The press release states that $10.7 million of HUD grants will be used to support New Mexico organizations. 

Jonna Sharpe, the P.A.T.H. executive director, said the grant will help provide rental assistance for three families or individuals that are experiencing chronic homelessness. One requirement for those families or individuals is that they must also have a documented disability.

Sharpe said the population of chronically homeless people with disabilities is small but under served.  

She said P.A.T.H. has housed one person using the grant in the past. The grant can pay the rent for up to a year. Sharpe said there are three one-bedroom apartments on the P.A.T.H. campus that are used for the program.

Pamela Drake, San Juan County Partnership executive director, said the nonprofit's housing assistance program helps people with disabilities who are chronically homeless or are at imminent risk of becoming homeless. 

"We follow a housing-first model," Drake said.

She said the nonprofit focuses on getting people into housing and then provides assistance in other areas.

This is not the first year the local nonprofits have received the HUD grants to help combat homelessness. Last year, PATH received $43,760 and San Juan County Partnership received $252,396.

"We're really pleased that they want to fund us on a continuous basis because we've helped a lot of people in the community and that's what it's all about," Drake said.

Udall said the community-based programs like P.A.T.H. and San Juan County Partnership are key to meeting the unique needs of the homeless population. 

"They are making real progress in working to end the cycle of homelessness by helping New Mexicans in need find a safe place to live, either by providing rental assistance, supportive housing or temporary shelters," Udall said in the press release.

Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, also emphasized the importance of the grants in the press release.

"Stable housing is the foundation for economic security," Heinrich said in the press release. "These important grants will fund efforts to end homelessness in communities across New Mexico and give individuals the opportunity to get back on their feet.” 

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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