Owensboro’s Daniel Pitino Shelter has received funding to construct two transitional housing units — the first such units in the Commonwealth to assist homeless families, according to the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC).

GRADD secured a $197,000 grant through KHC’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF). The two homes will be built in the 500 block of Cedar Street, directly behind the Pitino Shelter on existing property. 

They will be utilized for households coming out of homeless shelters and be made available to individuals who have a job, but cannot yet afford standard housing. Families will be permitted to live and pay rent for a maximum of two years. The goal is for them then to move into traditional housing, local rental units, or possibly apply for a Habitat for Humanity home. 

James Barnett, Pitino Shelter executive director, believes this project will provide an important intermediate step for those attempting to move from homelessness to independent living. 

“Sometimes even after two years [the time period the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development allows for homeless shelter residency], families are not quite ready to be totally on their own,” said Barnett. “These transitional homes will provide them with temporary housing while they continue to build skills to help them succeed.”

 Another unique aspect of this project, noted Barnett, has been community collaboration. Owensboro Community & Technical College (OCTC) professor Steve Bailes’ drafting and design students helped to draw plans for the two homes. 

The Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) was established by the Kentucky General Assembly to help meet basic housing needs of very low-income Kentuckians. Since 1992, local governments, housing authorities, nonprofit organizations and regional/statewide housing assistance organizations have received over $65 million to complete nearly 8,300 units.

 For additional details, please contact GRADD housing program manager Barry Johnston at (270) 926-4433 or barryjohnston@gradd.com.