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New housing sought for town's homeless

December 22, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — For most people, last weekend's snowstorm was an opportunity to stay home and spend time with loved ones.

But what if you don't have a home?

Laura Kaplan's hoping to do something about that. As director of the Southbridge Interfaith Housing Network, she already runs the Grace House family shelter on Sayles Street, but that's not enough.

"There's a shortage of affordable housing, specifically supportive and subsidized housing," she said Thursday. She was trying to make her case to a Town Council subcommittee for support to help SIHN ultimately buy vacant houses and turn them into apartments.

On an initial basis, she got it, as the committee voted unanimously to recommend the full council support SIHN's $15,000 Community Development Block Grant request. If approved, it will help pay for consulting work to identify usable property in town, funding sources to buy it and federally-subsidized vouchers for the units therein.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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