OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AWARDS OVER $3.5 MILLION TO RENEW FUNDING TO 24 ALASKA PROJECTS HELPING HOMELESS PERSONS & FAMILIES FIND “STABLE HOUSING” INSTEAD OF “LIVING ON THE STREETS”
ANCHORAGE – U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today awarded $$3,576,068to renew support for 24 local homeless housing and service programs in Washington state. HUD will award additional grant funding to support hundreds of other local programs, including new projects. View a complete list of Alaska projects awarded funding today at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/comm_planning/homeless/budget/2012
Provided through HUD’s Continuum of Care programs, the funding announced today will ensure these HUD-assisted local homeless assistance programs remain operating in the coming year. Later this year, HUD’s Continuum 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 programs to transitional and permanent housing for homeless persons and families. Over the last four years, HUD has provided almost $13..8 million in Continuum of Care funds to Alaska homeless providers HUD funds are a critical part of the Obama Administration’s strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness.
“The evidence is clear that every dollar we spend on those programs that help find a stable home for our homeless neighbors not only saves money but quite literally saves lives,” said Donovan. “We know these programs work and we know these grants can mean the difference between homeless persons and families finding stable housing or living on our streets.”
“Our economy is improving, but times are as tough as ever for those without a place to call home,” said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride. “These funds help hard-working local organizations keep their doors open and services flowing to help homeless families and individuals put a roof over their heads and stability and opportunity back into their lives.”
While the Fiscal Year 2012 funds awarded today are not impacted by the automatic across-the-board budget cuts under sequestration that began March 1st, Donovan cautioned that future budget cuts may reverse significant reported declines in homelessness: “During this challenging budget climate, we must make certain that we don’t balance our books on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens. When we make even modest investments in these programs, we see a measureable decline in homelessness.”
HUD recently announced its 2012 “point in time” estimate of the number of homeless persons in America. Approximately 3,000 cities and counties reported 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. In Alaska, local communities reported a 10.1 percent decrease in homelessness from January, 2011 to January, 2012.
HUD’s Continuum of Care grants announced today will continue offering permanent and transitional housing to homeless persons as well as services including job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care. Continuum of Care grants are awarded competitively to local programs to meet the needs of their homeless clients. These grants fund a wide variety of programs from street outreach and assessment programs to transitional and permanent housing for homeless persons and families.
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.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.govand http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDgov, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listserv.