Homeless To Benefit From $1.27 Billion Program
Thousands of local programs that house and serve the homeless are being awarded nearly $1.3 billion in grants announced by the U.S. Deparetment Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The two types of programs involve Continuum of Care and Emergency Shelter grants.
Continuum of Care grants provide permanent and transitional housing to homeless persons and fund services like job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care.
Emergency Shelter Grants convert buildings into homeless shelters, assist in the operation of local shelters and fund related social service and homeless prevention programs.
HUD’s Continuum of Care and Emergency Shelter Grant programs will provide critically needed funding to more than 3,700 local programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Most of the funding, $1.114 billion in Continuum of Care grants, is awarded competitively to local programs to meet the needs of their homeless clients. Continuum grants fund outreach and assessment programs at the local level as well as provide transitional and permanent housing to homeless persons and families.
By contrast, $160 million in Emergency Shelter Grants are being awarded to more than 300 jurisdictions based on a formula of a community’s need. Emergency Shelter Grants help state and local governments create, improve and operate emergency shelters for homeless people. In addition, these grants may also support essential services including job training, health care, drug/alcohol treatment, childcare and homelessness prevention activities.
Approximately $140 million of the Continuum grants will renew funding of existing programs through HUD’s Shelter Plus Care program which helps to pay rent and provide permanent housing for disabled homeless individuals and their families. The Shelter Plus Care program requires that HUD-funded projects help their clients live independently and provide needed supportive services from funding sources other than HUD.
Research indicates that approximately 10 percent of all homeless persons experience long-term or chronic homelessness. These studies also find that this population utilizes over half of all emergency shelter resources designed to assist homeless individuals and families.
By shifting the emphasis toward meeting the needs of the most vulnerable homeless persons, more resources become available for those who experience homelessness as a temporary condition.
HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS.
The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation’s fair housing laws.