The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on Monday that it will distribute $3.16 billion in homelessness aid to communities across the country through its Continuum of Care program, which is designed to provide housing assistance and/or support services to people experiencing homelessness.
HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge announced the award totals during a Monday appearance in Savannah, Georgia, with the Chatham-Savannah Interagency Council on Homelessness, an organization that will receive more than $4 million from the program.
“Now, more than ever, we are doing all we can to get people off the street and into permanent homes with access to services,” Fudge said in her remarks. “That is why we are making sure the service providers on the front lines of this crisis have the resources they need.”
HUD has either served or permanently housed 1.2 million people who have experienced homelessness over the past three years, and these new monetary awards are designed to build on that work.
“The historic awards we are announcing today will expand community capacity to assist more people in obtaining the safety and stability of a home, along with the support they need to achieve their life goals,” Fudge said.
HUD’s Continuum of Care program is designed “to promote a community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness,” with funding primarily designed to be disbursed to nonprofit providers, Native American tribes, and state and local governments.
It aims “to quickly rehouse homeless individuals, families, persons fleeing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and youth while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused by homelessness,” according to the program’s website.
HUD detailed the breadth of the new awards by saying they represent “the largest-ever amount of Continuum of Care program funding awarded to communities to address homelessness in history and provides a critical expansion of resources at a time when rates of homelessness are rising in most communities,” according to the announcement.
$136 million of the total will be made available for competitive and noncompetitive Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) renewal and replacement grants, as well as “approximately $57 million for new projects that will support housing and service needs for survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.”
When first announcing these grants, HUD specified that applicants should “use proven solutions to address homelessness, such as approaches that first connect people to housing, often with supportive services, rather than requiring people experiencing homelessness to first complete a treatment program or achieve sobriety as a condition to accessing housing,” the announcement said.
Successful applicants for these awards “demonstrated their community-wide commitment to ending homelessness by highlighting local partnerships with health agencies, mainstream housing agencies, and others.”
The largest beneficiary is the state of California at $601.4 million. Other large beneficiaries above $100 million include the states of New York ($303 million), Florida ($133 million), Illinois ($158 million), Massachusetts ($124 million), Ohio ($153 million), Pennsylvania ($147 million), Texas ($161 million) and Washington ($110 million).