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The Irvine City Council is expected Tuesday to consider approving grant money for various nonprofit organizations helping the homeless.

Editors’ Note: This dispatch is part of the Voice of OC Youth Media program, working with student journalists to cover public policy issues across Orange County. If you would like to submit your own student media project related to Orange County civics or if you have any response to this work, contact Digital Editor Sonya Quick at squick@voiceofoc.org.

The purpose of the program “is to comprehensively address homelessness through street outreach, emergency shelter, essential services, rapid re-housing, and homelessness prevention, while preventing, preparing for, and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a city staff report

The city has received $2.9 million from the second round of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Emergency Solutions Grant program funding and, if approved by the council, plans to distribute the money in January, the staff report states.

The city plans to give nearly $2.6 million of the money directly to nonprofit organizations, using the excess for program administration and the Homelessness Management Information System, an electronic data collection system operated by 2-1-1 Orange County, according to the staff report. 

According to the report, $292,739 is designated for program administration, while $52,675 will go to the homelessness management system. 

During the first round of funding in April of roughly $558,059, the city approved two nonprofits to provide short-term rental assistance. The city is now focusing on the broader impact on the homeless community. 

The City Council held a meeting in July with interested homelessness prevention services around Irvine and now has proposals from eight nonprofits.

The largest request of $569,671 is sought by South County Outreach’s homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing, which includes a large food pantry and an additional housing program, according to its website.

Local nonprofits Families Forward, StandUp for Kids, and the Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance among other organizations are also requesting support. Because the requested amounts total less than the money allocated, the city plans to distribute the excess amount between eight of the programs according to the staff report. 

The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. and can be viewed through the city’s ICTV page

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