BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is awarding more than $69.4 million to support 277 homeless housing and service programs in Massachusetts.
The grants fall under HUD’s Continuum of Care program, which provides support to governmental agencies, nonprofits, and other community organizations working to end homelessness. HUD encourages state and local community planners to review their best performing programs that have been most effective in reducing homelessness and issues surrounding individuals and families in danger of homelessness.
In 2010, the Obama Administration and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) launched the nation’s first-ever 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.
Massachusetts has made significant strides in moving homeless families and individuals from hotels and shelters to more permanent living situations. As of November 29, 2016, the state reported that 190 families are still living in motels, down from over 1,500 in January 2015. The current number does not include those families who are doubled up, living in unsafe conditions, or sleeping in their cars.
The Continuum of Care program will be organizing volunteers nationwide to help count the number of persons located in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and living on the streets. The one-night ‘point-in-time counts’ will be compiled and form the basis of HUD’s 2017 national homeless estimate.