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C-U homeless shelter seeks funds for new project

C-U at Home's current shelter for people dealing with homelessness is a "sober" shelter on East Washington Street in Champaign. The agency is seeking to open two additional "low-barrier" shelters to serve people dealing with drug and alcohol addiction.

CHAMPAIGN — With the help of the Champaign County Board, C-U at Home is looking to create new shelters for the homeless.

C-U at Home is seeking funds to build two, low-barrier shelters for the homeless.

The agency’s current year-round shelter for the homeless reopened in August as a sober shelter after a several-month closure due to staffing issues.

Unlike the agency’s sober shelter at 70 East Washington Street, these two shelters would provide services to those who deal with drug and alcohol addiction.

Kyle Patterson is the chair of the Champaign County Board. He says the board has a key role in funding this initiative.

Patterson says the County Board plans to donate $150,000 using COVID relief funds from the federal government.

“The committee will be partaking in a steering committee that we’ve made up with different funders to work with C-U at Home during this process to kind of monitor how things are going,” Patterson said.

Patterson says there should always be a low-barrier shelter for people in need.

“If this project doesn’t happen, this will be the first time in a very long time that we’ve not had that resource,” he said. “And I just think it’s an absolute necessity for a community of this size.”

Patterson says he hopes this initiative will shine a spotlight on the need for more low-barrier shelters in the community.

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Luis Velazquez-Perez

Luis Velazquez-Perez

Luis Velazquez- Perez recently earned a B.S. in Journalism with a minor in Latina/Latino studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is now pursuing his Master's in Journalism. Aside as an intern at Illinois Newsroom, Velazquez-Perez has written for The Daily Illini, Cicero Independiente and C-U CitizenAccess. He aspires to be a bilingual public radio journalist

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