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Carbondale Warming Center receives $10,000 grant to continue serving homeless population
Carbondale

Carbondale Warming Center receives $10,000 grant to continue serving homeless population

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The Carbondale Warming Center is staying open past its normal closing date to assist the homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CARBONDALE — The Carbondale Warming Center has received a $10,000 grant from Housing Action Illinois to help support it in providing shelter for people who are homeless while the governor’s stay-at-home order is in effect.

The shelter was one of 30 statewide entities to receive passthrough grants from the organization.

“Homeless service providers throughout Illinois have been critically active during the COVID-19 crisis, introducing social distancing measures in shelters, working to move people off the streets and into hotels or motels, and screening individuals with symptoms," said Sharon Legenza, the executive director of Housing Action Illinois, a nonprofit that advocates for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Legenza said, in a provided statement, that the funds will enable more people to stay have stable shelter “which protects the health and safety of our entire state.”

The Carbondale Warming Center is typically only open overnight in the winter months, from December to March. But it decided to keep its doors open in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and has been operating as a 24/7 shelter since March, serving about 30 people. It is one of the few places in Southern Illinois that has continued to accept new clients.

“The funding from this grant allows us to continue the services to support our guests, who are often overlooked in our communities,” Carmalita Cahill, the center’s coordinator, said in a statement. “Our mission is to provide a safe, warm place to sleep at night while serving with humanity, dignity and empathy at the forefront. We are grateful for the funding that allows us to continue.”

The majority of the funds that Housing Action Illinois is awarding come from the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, which was established by the United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations in collaboration with the governor's office. Additional funds come from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. 

Empty classrooms, churches, bars and stores: Southern Illinois COVID-19 impact, in photos

molly.parker@thesouthern.com

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On Twitter: @MollyParkerSI ​

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