Ocean Park Community Center (OPCC) has been awarded a grant of nearly $1.7 million from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for its work in providing housing subsidies for the chronically homeless population in Santa Monica and the Westside of Los Angeles, officials with the group said.

The competitive grant is part of a federal “Shelter Plus Care” package of more than $10 million awarded to three Los Angeles-area non-profits, the City of West Hollywood and the L.A. County Department of Mental Health.

Shelter Plus Care is a program designed to provide housing and supportive services on a long-term basis for homeless persons with disabilities, primarily those with serious mental illness, alcohol and/or drug addictions, and AIDS or related diseases, who are living on the streets or in emergency shelters.

“The Shelter Plus Care grant allows us to continue to expand our services to 40 more at-risk homeless individuals who have the most to lose by remaining on the street,” said John Maceri, executive director of OPCC. “We currently serve over 250 formerly homeless, disabled individuals in permanent housing each year through Shelter Plus Care funding, 94 percent of whom stay housed permanently.”

OPCC Shelter Plus Care clients are housed in rental units in various Los Angeles-area apartment buildings and must contribute one-third of their income toward the rent each month in order to participate, Maceri said.

OPCC is a Santa Monica-based social services agency consisting of multiple shelters and programs for low-income and homeless populations.

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