City gets grant to address little-known part of homeless problem


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Lexington has received a $46,000 federal grant to help young people who are transitioning out of foster care avoid homelessness.

“Often we think of homelessness as being centered around adults and senior citizens, however, this grant allows us to bring to the forefront the issues centered around youth transitioning out of foster care who are at risk of homelessness,” said Austin Simms, Lexington Housing Authority executive director.

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The Housing Authority led the effort to win the grant, the highest level of funding awarded nationwide.

Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric C. Friedlander said providing safety and affordable housing to former foster youth through its transitional services program.

“With partners like Lexington Housing Authority, we can empower many more foster alumni, and prevent them from ever experiencing homelessness,” Friedlander said.

In addition to housing support, the grant gives youth financial management and life skills counseling to start building what the agencies hope is “a wonderful foundation for stability and success.”

Aldean Pleasant, manager of the Housing Authority’s housing choice voucher program, wrote the grant proposal, and will manage the program, working with the state and the City.

“They bring both life experiences, and high expectations for their lives,” Pleasant said. “They are excited and encouraged about the longevity of the program, allowing them 36 months of housing assistance, plus additional self-sufficiency and life skills support. The housing assistance and supportive services gives them a solid transition out of Foster Care to independence with preparation for a brighter future.”