Alumna Gets $10 Million Grant to Help Rural Homeless

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ASU alumna Felicia Jackson (photo contributed).

ASU Alumna Proposal Obtains $10 Million Grant to Help Rural Homeless! 

By: Kenneth Mullinax/ASU 

An Alabama State University alumna who is a committed advocate for homeless families in Alabama has recently written a proposal that obtained a $10 million Federal Emergency Solutions Grant to help residents who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic obtain housing as well as other assistance. 

Felicia Jackson (ASU Class of 2001) is the executive director of the Alabama Rural Coalition for the Homeless, Inc. (ARCH). Her organization is among the 15 regional agencies that were awarded a total of $22 million in funds by Gov. Kay Ivey.

Jackson’s proposal allowed her organization to realize the largest windfall of the funds, with goals of helping individuals who are already homeless, as well as others who are in peril of becoming homeless due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

"We are overjoyed to have received the largest sum from the allotted funds and these monies are very important because there is a tremendous need to help individuals and families that are homeless or in risk of becoming homeless," Jackson said. 

She said that COVID-19 has caused housing instability within the 42 rural counties that ARCH covers in Alabama and these funds will be impactful in a number of ways, including paying rent and taking care of basic needs such as food and medicines. 


In making the grant announcement for Jackson's group and the other regional agencies, Governor Ivey said in a prepared statement that the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs will administer the Emergency Solutions Grant from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She stated that the funds granted to ARCH to help the state's rural homeless came as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges for families around the globe,” said Gov. Ivey. “I am proud to direct these funds to benefit those greatly impacted in our own state. These grants will support programs and organizations that are able to provide at least some relief to many who are without a place of their own or at risk of becoming homeless.” 


ASU's alumna said that she is a firm believer in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs whose credo states that for any person to reach their full potential, their basic needs must be met first. 

"As an affordable housing and eviction prevention advocate, I understand the need for safety, shelter and stability. I see housing as more than a basic need, but a human right. The Alabama Rural Coalition for the Homeless is honored to receive this grant from Governor Ivey and the amount of impact this will have on the homeless population in the forty-two counties that we serve will be groundbreaking," said Jackson. 

Media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.