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Four ways to fund a Pallet shelter village

December 9, 2021

There are many ways to fund a Pallet shelter village for people experiencing homelessness, from federal dollars to private funds.
Alexandria Park Tiny Home Village in Los Angeles, CA.

Pallet shelter villages serve as transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness. They provide the dignity and security of private units within a community. A resource net of on-site social services, food, showers, laundry, and more helps people transition to permanent housing.

Several components to consider when building a village include choosing which Pallet shelters to use, location, setting up infrastructure, and selecting a service provider. Funding is also crucial. Below are are four sources that can be combined to fund the costs associated with creating a Pallet shelter village.

1. Federal Funds

The federal government has numerous programs available to fund aid for people experiencing homelessness.. Notably, because of the coronavirus pandemic, trillions of dollars became available. The $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in March 2020. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed a year later. Both legislative acts provided local governments and nonprofits an opportunity to take an innovative approach to the homelessness crisis.

New Beginnings, a Pallet shelter village in Fayetteville, Arkansas, initially used private funding to get the project started. Later, they used CARES money to purchase equipment and materials supporting the village's programming. 

A newly opened Pallet shelter village in Aurora, Colorado, used ARPA funding and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG). ESG is a federal program to assist people to quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and homelessness.

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) are also available. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program supports community development activities to "build stronger and more resilient communities." 

2. State Funds 

States also set aside funding to address the needs of unhoused people. A Pallet shelter village in Everett, Washington, used funding from the state Department of Commerce. Specifically, the Shelter Program Grant funds "equitable and creative approaches to develop or expand shelter programs and bring people inside to quickly exit participants to permanent housing and positive destinations."

3. General Funds

General funds typically refer to revenue collected by a local government from various sources, including sales tax, property taxes, and fees. These funds can be allocated to Pallet shelter villages. In addition to state funding, Everett's service provider, Everett Gospel Mission (EGM), used money from their general fund to support the site. This funding was allocated by the City of Everett. Now that the site is up and running, EGM has been able to appeal to donors to fund the specific needs of the residents. 

4. Private Funds

Fundraising from the community and appealing to benefactors is another option. After holding several fundraising events, New Beginnings raised $600,000. Later, a local philanthropist donated a $1 million gift to complete the fundraising for the capital project and provided two years of start-up support for their programming.

Funding a Pallet shelter village is not a one size fits all model. With a bit of effort, the above sources enable communities to provide a new way to address unsheltered homelessness. 

Build a Village

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