THE GAZETTE | An apartment building providing shelter to the chronically homeless, but without imposing entrance barriers of a typical shelter, could break ground this fall.
The Iowa Finance Authority announced it was awarding $2.7 million to Shelter House to go toward construction of Shelter House’s FUSE-Housing First Project.
FUSE stands for Frequent User System Engagement and refers to transients caught in a cycle of jails, emergency rooms and substance abuse treatment centers.
Shelter House Director Crissy Canganelli said the finance authority’s funding, coupled with $463,000 awarded by the Housing Trust Fund of Johnson County, will pave the way for construction.
“We’re deeply grateful,” she said Thursday. “It’s a privilege to be able to serve our community in this way.”
Once completed, the FUSE project will be unlike other shelters in that the normal hurdles — staying sober and participating in social services — will be ignored in favor of getting the individuals into housing and allowing them to stabilize, while still offering support services.
Canganelli previously said the “housing first” model — which has been implemented in other cities around the country — represents a “paradigm shift” in the approach to serving the homeless.
Lee Herminston: (319) 398-8238; email@example.com