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U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro recently awarded $1.8 billion in grants to help nearly 8,400 local homeless housing and service programs across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands (see attached chart). The Continuum of Care grants announced today support the Administration’s efforts to end homelessness by providing critically needed housing and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness across the country.

In addition to renewing funding to thousands of effective existing projects, HUD is funding 25 new projects that will provide permanent supportive housing to individuals and families experiencing chronic homelessness in areas with especially high need. These new projects were awarded as part of a special competition designed to help the Department make progress toward its goal of ending chronic homelessness.

Click here to view a complete list of all the state and local homeless projects awarded funding.

“It’s a national shame that anyone would call the streets their home,” says Castro. “Working with our local partners, we’re redoubling our efforts to support permanent housing solutions for our veterans and those experiencing long-term chronic homelessness.  We’re also focused on providing targeted assistance to families and young people who are falling between the cracks. As a nation, we can and must end homelessness.”

“Communities across the country are driving progress by implementing the strategies that work to end homelessness—Housing First, permanent supportive housing, and rapid rehousing,” says Matthew Doherty, Interim Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. “The grants announced today are critical investments into these strategies, providing assistance to families and individuals so that they can remain in permanent housing or get back into permanent housing as quickly as possible and never experience the crisis of homelessness again.”

The local programs supported by the grants recently announced offer a variety of housing and services including transitional and permanent supportive housing, rapid re-housing, street outreach, client assessment, and other services.  HUD is continuing to challenge local communities to reexamine their response to homelessness and give greater weight to proven strategies, including rapid re-housing for homeless families with children, permanent supportive housing for those experiencing chronic homelessness, and implementation of a Housing First approach.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of HUD and Secretary Castro is focused on advancing policies that create opportunity for all Americans.  Ending homelessness is among HUD’s, and the Obama Administration’s, vision.  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 as well as to end homelessness among children, family, and youth.

HUD recently announced the 2014 estimate of the number of homeless persons in America.  According to data from more than 3,000 cities and counties around the country, there were 578,424 persons experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2014.  Since 2010, local communities around the country reported a10 percent decline in the total number of persons experiencing homelessness and a remarkable 25 percent drop in the number of those living on the streets.  In addition, state and local planning agencies’ counts reveal a 33 percent drop in homelessness among veterans, including a 43 percent reduction in unsheltered homelessness among veterans.

Across America, local homelessness planning agencies called ‘Continuums of Care’ are organizing volunteers at this time of year to help count the number of persons located in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and living unsheltered on the streets.  Continuums of Care will report these one-night ‘point-in-time counts’ later in the year and will form the basis of HUD’s 2015 national homeless estimate.

For more information, visit www.hud.gov.

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