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Money for shelter – Will offer job training, counseling

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The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has given $1 million to an interfaith group working to build a homeless center near downtown Palo Alto, Calif., the San Francisco Chronicle reported July 19.

Foundation officials were intrigued by Peninsula Interfaith Action’s plan to combine on-site housing, job training and counseling services, Don Barr, a member of the interfaith group’s Community Working Group, told the Chronicle. The center is expected to cost $6 million.

There is increasing evidence that combining support programs with affordable housing is a good way to pull people out of homelessness, said Carla Javits, program director at the nationwide Corporation for Supportive Housing.

She cited a University of California at Berkeley study released in May finding that homeless people who lived in support housing for a year made 57 percent fewer emergency visits than before they moved in.

Some City Council members have shown opposition to the shelter, saying they don’t want Palo Alto to become a “magnet” for the homeless. A recent election may have changed the balance of opinion on the Council, however, and left the objectors outnumbered.

For full story, go to the San Francisco Chronicle.

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