On Friday, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced several organizations in the 24th Congressional District received grants to combat homelessness through the federal Department of Housing and Community Development Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program. The total amount awarded was $858,865.

The primary objective of the ESG program is to work to eliminate homelessness by assisting individuals and families in achieving economic and social independence. Counseling, substance abuse treatment, and job preparation are among the many support services available to program participants.

“Our Central Coast community is blessed to be full of organizations working to eliminate homelessness,” Capps said. “These funds will help more people get off the street and on a path towards economic and social independence.”

New Beginnings Counseling Center in Santa Barbara received $161,615 for its Safe Parking Program.

“New Beginnings is thrilled to once again be a recipient of ESG funding,” said Kristine Schwarz, executive director of the New Beginnings Counseling Center. “The increased program capacity and housing assistance made possible through ESG funding is integral to our ability to effectively help individuals and families transition back into permanent housing. ESG funding allows New Beginnings to help more people in the Safe Parking Program more quickly, thereby shortening the length of time they are living on the streets and in their vehicles.”

Transition House in Santa Barbara received three grants — $111,530 for emergency shelter, $98,320 for rapid rehousing and $73,740 for homelessness prevention.

“Transition House has relied on Emergency Solutions Grant funding for many years to fund its emergency shelter operations for homeless families with children,” said Kathleen Baushke, executive director of Transition House. “ESG provides the largest single source of support for our shelter operations annually. In addition, ESG has evolved to include other strategies to ending family homelessness including Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing interventions. Transition House families have benefited from the funding provided by these additional ESG programs. Thanks to ESG, Transition House has helped hundreds of families address the crisis of homelessness and return to permanent, stable housing.”

The Salvation Army in Santa Barbara received a grant for $192,850 for the Salvation Army Hospitality House. The Salvation Army in Ventura received three grants — one for $95,747 for its Home Emergency Shelter program and two for its Homeless to Home program totaling $197,868.

— Chris Meagher is a press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps.