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City of Jackson seeks public input on homelessness relief allocation

Reginald Hardwick
The City of Jackson has been approved to receive a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to alleviate homelessness.

The City of Jackson wants public input on a plan to address homelessness and housing instability. 

The city has already been approved for a $1.1 million federal housing relief grant.

Now, officials are asking the public to comment on a draft plan that outlines how that funding would be allocated.

City of Jackson grant coordinator Cory Mays says the city has a dedicated homeless shelter and a women’s domestic violence shelter.

However, he says the need for more assistance really came into focus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We saw an explosion of homeless folks out on the streets in Jackson,” Mays said. “It was very troubling to see that because it forces all of us to recognize that this is a bigger problem, I think, than we even realized.”

Mays says he believes the city has collected enough data to have a firm grasp of the needs facing the unhoused.

“We’ve really identified those, at least preliminarily, to be a focus on affordable rental housing, a focus on taking properties that are already affordable rental housing that maybe are in need of some rehabilitation, and then some supportive services,” he said.

The Jackson City Council will host a public hearing on March 7 to gather more input on the issue of homelessness.

Residents are invited to comment on the draft allocation plan until March 15 before it will be submitted to the federal government.

Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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