Mercy House receives money for rapid re-housing program

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — The Virginia Housing Trust Fund is allotting $2.2 million in grants to help reduce homelessness throughout the commonwealth, and an organization in Harrisonburg is on the receiving end of some of that money.

Mercy House has 12 unites for families and currently has a waiting list.

Mercy House will receive $100,000 to help assist with the organization's rapid re-housing program.

Shannon Porter, the executive director of Mercy House, said that the goal is always to get people back into their own homes as soon as possible.

"If you lose your housing, it's very hard to get back into a decent housing environment. It's a little bit like a game of musical chairs, and unfortunately a lot of people are losing," said Porter.

Porter said that the organization uses a short-term rental stipend to help stabilize households. Money from this grant will aid the stipend with money for things like paying rent, security deposits and utility deposits.

"For us to raise that in the community takes a lot, so having these funds and being able to use them appropriately is important, and it also really is great to know that we are really trusted by the state," said Porter.

Mercy House has received this grant before. Last year, the money from the grant helped the organization put 42 families back into permanent housing.

In 2018, it housed 150 families overall.

The organization has 12 units to house people, and Porter said it takes about 3 months to get people into permanent housing, depending on the situation.

Porter said there is a waiting list for folks to get into Mercy House.

While the grant does help them, there are always needs to be met through the organization.

Donations can be made here.