May 19, 2011 2:57 pm
RISMEDIA, May 19, 2011-Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan awarded more than $216 million to nearly 700 new homeless programs across the country. The grants announced are $26 million more than last year's grants and, combined with renewal funding announced earlier this year, represents the most homelessness assistance ever awarded by HUD. HUD is also continuing to confront rural homelessness by targeting a record $16.4 million to 87 never-before-funded programs in less populated areas of the country.
In January, HUD awarded more than $1.4 billion in Continuum of Care grants to renew funding to 7,000 existing local homeless programs. The funding announced today will invest in local projects that have never before received HUD homeless funds, providing critically needed housing and support services to an estimated 21,000 homeless individuals and families. Though homelessness is largely an urban phenomenon, HUD is reserving record funding to meet the unique challenges faced by homeless individuals and families living in rural areas.
"Today, we build on the goal to prevent and end homelessness in America," says Donovan. "This funding will make a significant impact in the lives of thousands of people and provide resources to bring them towards the road of independence."
HUD's Continuum of Care grants fund a wide range of transitional and permanent housing programs as well as supportive services such as job training, case management, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care. Street outreach and assessment programs to transitional and permanent housing for homeless persons and families are also funded through these grants. Continuum of Care programs include:
- Supportive Housing Program (SHP) offers housing and supportive services to allow homeless persons to live as independently as possible.
- Shelter Plus Care (S+C) provides housing and supportive services on a long-term basis for homeless persons with disabilities, (primarily those with serious mental illness, chronic problems with alcohol and/or drugs, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS or related diseases) and their families who were living in places not intended for human habitation (e.g., streets) or in emergency shelters.
- Single-Room Occupancy Program (SRO) provides rental assistance for homeless persons in one-person housing units that contain small kitchens, bathrooms, or both.
Last year, 19 federal agencies announced a plan to end all homelessness through Opening Doors-an unprecedented federal strategy to end veteran and chronic homelessness by 2015-and to end homelessness among children, families and youth by 2020. In addition to the Continuum of Care grant program, HUD's new Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing (HPRP) Program made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is making a major contribution to the Opening Doors strategy. To date, HPRP has allocated $1.5 billion to prevent more than 875,000 people from falling into homelessness or to rapidly re-house them if they do.
HUD's homelessness grants are reducing long-term or chronic homelessness in America. Based on the Department's latest Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), chronic homelessness has declined by 30% since 2006. This decline is directly attributed to HUD's homeless grants helping to create significantly more permanent housing for those who might otherwise be living on the streets. It was also reported in the AHAR that the number of homeless families increased for the second consecutive year, almost certainly due to the ongoing effects of the recession.
For more information, visit www.hud.gov.