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Program aids Armstrong's homeless

| Saturday, July 5, 2014, 12:21 a.m.

Armstrong County officials plan to fight homelessness in the area with state housing funds.

The Community Action Agency of Armstrong County applied for $310,000 in Emergency Solution Grant funding from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, which will be used over two years.

The funding is used to provide shelter to the homeless and assistance to low-income residents who could lose or be evicted from their homes, said Kim Pivetta, director of community action's emergency housing.

“The homeless aren't necessarily seen in Armstrong County, but they are here,” Pivetta said. “We frequently handle calls from 911, churches or other agencies helping people who don't have any place to go. We try to help them with housing.”

The grant will assist anyone making 30 percent or less of their area's median income, Pivetta said. For example, if an area's median income is $30,000 per year, an applicant can make no more than about $9,000 annually.

Ken Heilman, director of the Community Action Agency of Armstrong County, said officials expect to receive the grant in November.

Community Action serves about 55 people each month with temporary shelter, rent or mortgage assistance, Pivetta said.

“This will be a big help to the homeless or near-homeless in Armstrong County,” Heilman said.

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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