Project in Madera is bringing agencies together to tackle homelessness

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The city's housing authority was recently awarded more than 150,000 dollars to house 10 families by the end of the month.

The Madera project aims to permanently keep families off the streets.

The donations are just the first step but Madera police say these bed sheets and kitchen items are part of a bigger project aimed at tackling homelessness in Madera.

Donations are being dropped off to fill homes for needy families.

The police department is one of the many agencies involved working to house 10 homeless families by the end of this year.

Madera City Councilman, Charles Rigby said, "We have several applications, where the applicant does consider themselves homeless because they reside in an automobile, and these are the type of families that we're hoping to serve."

City officials and the Madera Housing Authority employee say the plan is to house families with children in homes at Pomona Ranch. The property is primarily used for seasonal migrant workers during the summer.

Linda Shaw said, "We don't provide enough affordable housing in Madera County, and that certainly is true in the city, we need more affordable housing."

Housing Authority Employees say they currently have about 250 public housing units, along with nearly 700 Section 8 vouchers that already has a long waiting list.

Madera City Councilman, Charles Rigby, says the project could possibly house another 50 families. With the help of other county and city agencies, it aims to get families employed and back on track.

"We're choosing families we feel like could within five months be back on their feet," Rigby said.

The project is starting with 10 families but police say it could be a big help to much more.

Madera Police Department Lt. Gino Chiaramonte said, "We see two families that show up that weren't here to donate but request the services and you can't reach them all so when you open something like this up, you see the true need."

The community is already pitching in and the city hopes to have the families chosen and moved in by the end of November.
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