Program Targets Homeless Families in Cedar Rapids

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By Ellen Kurt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Federal child welfare officials are expanding a pilot program that provides housing and case workers to homeless families most at risk for having a child enter foster care.

The $35 million expansion provides permanent housing for a few hundred families who have been homeless for at least a year, and had at least one case of child abuse or neglect. Federal health officials said homeless families account for more than one-third of overall homelessness.

The focus on deep-rooted issues related to poverty comes as child welfare officials are pushing to keep kids safely in the home and provide services whenever possible instead of rushing to place them in foster care. The program will target families in South Florida, San Francisco, Connecticut, Memphis, Tenn. and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
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