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Grant Helps Homeless Families

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SCRANTON -- The United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania can now help more people.

The non-profit organization won a federal grant of more than $216,000.

That money will help the UNC provide permanent housing to eight homeless families in Lackawanna County.

"They are families that we are really recognizing in the community that have had huge barriers for years, it's not just a one-time instance," said Jill Moyle of the UNC.

With the help of Children and Youth Services of Lackawanna County, the folks at UNC will identify eight families and provide them with apartments to live in and services to help them.

In all, they have 24 beds to provide to the families.

"It's great, it's great because in the past we had transitional housing which was temporary and now this is permanant," said Tammy Marcinkevich of the UNC.

The United Neighborhood Centers officials said in 2011 there were 90 homeless families in Lackawanna County, 145 children. Of those children, 50 were placed in foster care.

"In Lackawanna County, it's very difficult because we're very limited with shelters for children, families with children. There are very few shelters in the area that allow children to be with their parents, so traditionally, what would happen is the children would be separated from their parents," said Moyle.

"They are good families that just are in need of housing, there is not affordable housing in this area for a lot of these families," said Marcinkevich.

The program is expected to begin October 1.

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