U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced a third round of grants for more than 200 homeless housing and service programs across the U.S., as well as nearly 200 grants to assist with local strategic planning activities provided through HUD's Continuum of Care Program. This year, HUD challenged local communities to reexamine their response to homelessness and give greater weight to proven strategies, from providing "rapid re-housing' for homeless families to permanent supportive housing for those experiencing chronic homelessness (see attached chart).
The $52 million in grants announced today support a wide range of new programs, including projects to create and implement systems to make the use of homeless services more efficient and more than 1,600 new permanent supportive housing beds for chronically homeless persons. The new projects were largely the result of local strategic decisions that resulted in the reallocation of funds from existing renewal projects that were no longer critically needed in favor of creating new programs to help the community achieve the goal of ending homelessness. Earlier this year, HUD awarded more than $1.5 billion in the first two rounds of grant funding to renew support for more than 7,500 local programs. View a complete list of all the state and local homeless projects awarded funding.
"Today's grantees will join the thousands of local programs that are on the front lines ending homelessness across the nation," said Donovan. "As we continue to see a decline in homelessness, investing in programs that are moving homeless families and individuals to permanent housing is as critical as ever because it's not only the right thing to do, but it's smart government and fiscally prudent."
Continuum of Care grants are awarded competitively to local projects to meet the needs of their homeless clients. The grants fund a wide variety of programs from street outreach and assessment to transitional and permanent housing for homeless persons and families. HUD funds are a critical part of the Obama Administration's strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. Additionally, new grants awarded in FY2012 included--for the first time ever--$11 million in funds for planning activities that will assist Continuums of Care fulfill their responsibilities under the Continuum of Care Program interim rule.
According to the 2012 "point in time" estimate of the number of homeless persons in America, there were 633,782 homeless persons on a single night in January of 2012, largely unchanged from the year before. While HUD found significant declines among the long-term homeless and veterans, local communities reported an increase in the number of sheltered and unsheltered families with children.
HUD's Continuum of Care grants announced today will offer new permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing to homeless persons as well as link them to services including job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care.
In 2010, President Obama and 19 federal agencies and offices that form the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) launched the nation's first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness. Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness puts the country on a path to end veterans and chronic homelessness by 2015 and to ending homelessness among children, family, and youth by 2020.