Stimulus Gives $8 Million to Oklahoma Homeless Prevention Programs

Monday, May 4th 2009, 3:23 pm
By: News 9

By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A public hearing on the state's plan to spend close to $8 million dollars in federal stimulus money on the prevention of homelessness produced little public comment today. 

Only one person attending the Department of Commerce hearing got up to speak - an official with the Oklahoma City planning department criticized the state for deciding not to disperse any of the funding to either Oklahoma City or Tulsa.

Commerce Department officials say those cities get funding directly from the federal government, and, with limited funding available, they felt "it was important that rural areas be given the preference here."

The money, $7,898,856 coming through the federal department of Housing and Urban Development over the next three years, will be used to extend programs that are already place that help people from becoming homeless, or help those who already are homeless get back on their feet.

Social service agencies say they are seeing more people than they've ever seen before, and people who have never needed their services before.  The Commerce department plans to put out Requests for Proposals next month, and actually award contracts by the end of September.

NEWS 9's Alex Cameron takes a closer look at the programs tonight on NEWS 9 at 5 p.m.