GAR Foundation awards CSS grant for homeless outreach

Jul 21, 2022

Authored by: Community Support Services

Community Support Services (CSS) has been awarded a $10,000 grant from GAR Foundation to support CSS’ Homeless Outreach Center.

Since 1967, GAR Foundation has been a vital funder of programs in the local community that advance education, economic and workforce development, arts and culture, nonprofit sector advancement, and basic needs. Today, GAR Foundation awards more than $6 million annually to Greater Akron organizations and programs.

CSS' Homeless Outreach Center has been providing services for the community’s homeless population for years, and the need has only increased with the pandemic and addiction crisis. Further, in June of 2021, the City of Akron reinstated its pre-pandemic policy of clearing homeless encampments on city property. CSS’ Homeless Outreach team stepped in to help those who would be displaced.

In winter of 2020, CSS revamped an office space so it could be used during the coldest nights to provide overnight shelter for those in need. Last year, through the “Tent to House” program, that facility was expanded to include a permanent site where those who are working with CSS outreach professionals on a housing plan can have a safe place to sleep while they await acceptance into permanent housing. Funding from GAR Foundation will go toward this program.

“The overall goal of this effort is to reduce homelessness in Summit County by 50%,” said CSS CEO Bob Stokes. “This shelter project will give us another arrow in our quiver to connect with the people experiencing homelessness and find suitable housing for them and help them to address their mental health and/or addiction issues, as well.”

CSS’ major partner for this project will be The Peter Maurin Center, an outreach center in south Akron.