The fight to connect low-income families with affordable housing just got a boost.

The Polk County Housing Trust Fund (PCHTF) announced Wednesday it has awarded over $689,000 dollars in grants to 18 programs at local non-profit organizations. The money comes from the Polk County Housing Trust Fund’s “Stable Steady Strong” fundraiser.

Officials at PCHTF say Polk County is in dire need of more affordable housing units (some 11,000 are needed currently), but even those units that are available can’t always be located by the people looking for them.

“What this money does is it helps people find those units,” says Matt Hauge of PCHTF. “So, what a lot of these programs have in common is they are helping provide housing navigation services. Those are the social service employees that are the housing navigators that help work with landlords and clients to help pair people up, to get them placed in housing and to make sure that those relationships are successful once they’re there.”

Anawim Housing will get over $100,000 of the grant money, while the Iowa Homeless Youth Centers, the Oak Ridge Neighborhood, and Iowa Primary Health Centers will each get more than $70,000.