Every year the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awards funding to communities to assist homeless and disabled citizens with housing. HUD has recently announced its 2010 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for project renewals and new projects. The Continuum of Care Workgroup of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Homeless Services Network is the organization that receives and reviews applications locally. The group will meet at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14, to discuss the funding opportunity and answer questions. The public meeting will be held at Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health, 429 Billingsley Road, in Charlotte. Application information will be available at the meeting. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg region received $3,541,881 in fiscal year 2010 for services to help house the homeless. An additional $250,000 has been made available over the next 5 years for new projects that will provide permanent housing for the chronically homeless. Eligible activities for this added funding include operating expenses and leasing subsidies. “Recent homeless counts indicate there are an estimated 6,500 homeless persons in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community, with about 10 percent who are considered chronically homeless,” Peter Safir, homeless services director, said. “In order to continue to help these folks in our community, funding such as this is vitally important,” he said. Agencies currently funded by HUD, and therefore eligible to apply for renewal funding, include the Salvation Army, Mecklenburg County, Hope Haven, Inc., Community Link (Programs of Travelers Aid), and St. Peter’s Homes. Renewal applications and new proposals for the bonus funding must be submitted to the Continuum of Care workgroup by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010. The drop-off site address is Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health, 429 Billingsley Road, in Charlotte .