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City of Beaumont to give grants to improve community - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

City of Beaumont to give grants to improve community

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The city of Beaumont is looking to give away more than a million dollars in grant money. Each year the Office of Community Development receives grant money to help improve our city. City officials are tasked with doling out that money for community projects, but they want your input and possibly to give you some of the money.

Johnny Beatty, with the City of Beaumont Community Development Office, explains, "The city of Beaumont is an entitlement city which means each year we receive federal funds. We receive Community Block Development Grants, Home funds and Emergency Solutions Grant funds"

Each year the city holds public information meetings about what grants are available. Beatty tells 12 News HD, "The categories that we work with: demolition, housing rehabilitation, public service, small business revolving loan program, public facility rehabilitation."

Last year, the city gave approximately $1.2 million in Community Block Development Grants, $143,000 in Emergency Solutions Grants and $480,000 in home grants. Beatty says with the home grants, "We constructed a lot of houses. We've put individuals into their first home, and now they're taxpayers so it helps with our tax base."

Each Community Block and Emergency Solutions Grant ranges from $5,000 to $20,000.

Daniel Jeans is the Executive Director for The H.O.W Center, a non-profit that helps homeless men get back on their feet, "We help about 450-500 men a year, but we also field 50 phone calls from women and families every month."

Last year his organization received a Community Block Grant for $17,000 dollars so they could install new siding on their facility. Jeans tells 12 News HD, "We use local contractors. Those local contractors, they see skilled labor at The H.O.W. center and they will hire our guys right here. This is a helping hand up to some of these guys that are looking for a helping hand, not a hand out."

At the end of January, The H.O.W. Center is receiving a national award called the Audrey Nelson Award for their stewardship of the grant money and their community service.

The first of the meetings will be held Thursday, January 10 at 6pm in the Elmo Willard Library located at 3590 East Lucas. If you cannot attend that meeting the second meeting will be held, Thursday, January 17, also at 6pm at the BISD Adult Education Center at 2300 Victoria. For more information, you can call, 409-880-3763.

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