Project plans to help more than 100 families - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Project plans to help more than 100 families in Cedar Rapids

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

A project to help low-income families over the next four years is getting off the ground in eastern Iowa.

Cedar Rapids is one of five cities in the country that's been selected for a federal demonstration grant to help fight homelessness.

Allie Gladden and her brother Tyler Gladden are just two of more than 50 volunteers helping families in crisis in the Cedar Rapids area.

"I think people like us don't really realize how blessed we are, so I think it kind of makes all of us realize how unfortunate other people are compared to us," said Allie.

It's all part of Partners United for Supportive Housing-Cedar Rapids (PUSH-CR).  It's Iowa's first supportive housing program which helps 125 families who are homeless or on the verge of it, for the next 4 years.

Joe Lock with Affordable Housing Network Inc., says many think homelessness is only a problem in large cities like New York and Chicago, but Lock says that's not the case.

"There's homelessness right here in Cedar Rapids and Linn County," said Lock. "These folks are facing a lot of challenges and the reason we're doing this today is that we've had tremendous community response. We are trying to house these families and furnish their apartments." 

Members of PUSH-CR says they began asking for assistance about two weeks ago and they've already seen a tremendous response from the community.

"It gives me a great satisfaction because I know that I'm helping the community and people who are less fortunate than I am." said Tyler Gladden.

Donations of household items including hygiene products, linen, TVs and furniture are coming in from individuals and businesses across the area.

PUSH-CR collaborated with more than two dozen community partners for the drop-off donations.

If you would like to donate, there will be another drop-off day,  Saturday, December 14th and Saturday, January 11th in the alley behind the building at 601 2nd Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids.

To learn more about the project CLICK HERE.

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