Esplanade House suffers setback after losing crucial grant funding

Mar 22, 2016 12:36 PM by News Staff

It's been a refuge for homeless families in Chico for more than two decades but now the esplanade house is in a financial jam -- due to being denied a federal grant.

The esplanade house is a complex that provides 60 apartments for families trying to get back on their feet.

The program nurtures and helps these families re-enter mainstream society.

It's a nonprofit that relies on federal dollars -- and just got the news -- some of that money is no longer available, due to the fed shifting its priorities in funding.

“It’s one of the highest decorated programs for rehab and homelessness here in Chico,” Carlos Lujan said. “I just don't understand how a grant can't go through.”

Lujan and his girlfriend Cody Nieport learned Monday that despite qualifying to become residents at the esplanade house they won't be able to move in.

Thomas Tenorio, CEO of the transitional housing facility for homeless families with children said, unfortunately for the time being, it can't take on any new residents due to the federal government rejecting the renewal of $10,000 grant that was needed to help families pay their rent here.

“They want to fund no barrier programs that not require sobriety, that do not require participations in support services,” Tenorio said. “Those really are not part of the esplanade design for the last 25 years.”

Tenorio said, thanks to county assistance and private funding, the approximately 100 adults and 100 children currently living at the complex should be able to complete the program that can run as long as two years.

Meanwhile, the future of the Esplanade House is now riding on the approval of two other federal grants worth a combined $150,000.

“We hesitate to say it’s going to break the program,” Tenorio said. “We've always had great support and yet it’s tough to cover that kind of gap.”

For Carlos Lujan and Cody Nieport with nowhere to currently turn their future is also in doubt.

“I just don't want to end up homeless again,” he said.

The annual budget for the Esplanade House program is around a half million dollars.

Tenorio said they should know in the next couple weeks if the grants for $150,000 have been approved.


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