Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa–With unemployment still elevated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Muscatine Center for Social Action continues to work on the frontlines of making sure those in need have safe housing. An Emergency Solutions grant from the State of Iowa will help them continue to do this work as winter begins and housing becomes more critical than ever.

Through the Emergency Solutions Grant, MCSA will receive $340,568. Resource Development Officer Jennifer Leirness detailed that $200,000 of these funds will go to their homeless shelter and the remaining $140,568 to their homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing programs.

Each of these services will benefit area residents in danger of losing their housing or experiencing homelessness in different ways. The rapid rehousing program works to assist those who have recently lost housing find a new and stable living situation quickly. It also provides case management to help address possible issues and ensure people can stay in their homes.

For those on the verge of losing their housing, the homelessness prevention program can offer them a hand up. The program offers assistance with back rent, mortgage, or utility payments; moving expenses; and housing or utility deposits. Caseworkers can also help identify future obstacles and help address them so that people can continue to maintain their housing.

Those experiencing homelessness can access services at MCSA’s shelter. Along with having a safe place to stay, MCSA staff can assist guests in searching for jobs or housing and work to overcome any challenges that may prevent them from having a stable living situation.

If you or anyone you know could benefit from these services, Leirness encourages you to reach out to MCSA right away, either by calling 563-264-3278 or visiting their physical location at 312 Iowa Avenue, where they have trained staff on site 24 hours a day. Leirness stressed, “we know that the pandemic has been harsh and that people in our community and across the country are experiencing tough times, so we encourage people to reach out if they find themselves needing shelter or homeless prevention services.”

With this additional grant money, MCSA will have more resources to continue to sustain these valuable services: “MCSA has remained open and operating throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, and by adapting and transforming our services we are able to continue offering assistance to those who need it. This grant will ensure that our housing programs are supported and ready to serve clients,” elaborated Leirness.

Leirness felt grateful for the additional funding to MCSA’s programs and hopes they can assist many people during this challenging winter. “My team and I are so grateful for receiving these funds, as we know that they will have a positive impact on our community,” she said. “Our agency serves hundreds of individuals and families each year, and we are thankful for the opportunity to improve lives.”

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