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Pasco Co. approves program to house homeless

Posted at 5:26 PM, Mar 08, 2016
James Hannan, 51, knows what it’s like to be homeless. He was on the streets of Pasco County for three years.
 
“If I had a place of my own, I’d move everybody in,” he said.
 
Now he’s living in a shelter and helping others at the Acts Community Resource Center in Hudson.
 
“I just feel sorry for these people that are homeless because they have no where else to go,” he said.
 
Some people are homeless because of addiction or mental illness. But many just can’t afford rising rent costs.
 
Now Pasco County officials are hoping to help.
 
On Tuesday County Commissioners unanimously passed the Extremely Low Income Housing Program.
 
They will spend $2.5 million in grants to buy or fix up 20 homes a year for the next five years.
 
Some of the homes will be foreclosures or ones the county already owns. 
 
The county said the homes will cost about $20,000 a unit, and will be “decent places” to live for those making less than 30 percent of the median income.
 
They said that’s the hardest group to help house.
 
Pastor Dan Kolb runs the Acts Community Resource Center and said he’s seen seven people who frequented here die in the last two months.
 
“A lot of times it’s just a chance and with some love people will prosper and they’ll come alive and you’ll [see] life in their eyes, even addicted to drugs,” said Kolb.
 
The county will now look for nonprofits willing to own and manage the homes.
 
Cost to the residents will depend on what program they are in and their ability to pay.