HUD awards $60-million for homeless programs in Massachusetts

Funding renews support to local homeless housing and service programs.

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

BOSTON – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro has awarded more than $60 million to support 250 local homeless housing and service programs in Massachusetts.

The Tier 1 Continuum of Care (CoC) grants announced today support the Obama Administration’s efforts to end homelessness by providing critically needed housing and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. HUD will award approximately $300 million in “Tier 2 grants” in the spring to support hundreds more local programs across the U.S.

“A safe, stable home is the foundation for opportunity in all of our lives,” said Secretary Castro. “That’s why we’re continuing to challenge communities to deploy proven strategies to help people experiencing homelessness find a place to call home. Through unprecedented partnership among every level of government and private, non-profit and philanthropic organizations, we know this goal is not just aspirational – it’s achievable.”

“This funding is critical to local Massachusetts programs that are on the front lines of helping those who might otherwise be living on our streets,” said Kristine Foye, HUD New England Regional Administrator.

This year’s grants are being awarded in the most competitive environment HUD has experienced in the Continuum of Care grant program. To compete most effectively, communities made very challenging decisions, often shifting funds from existing projects to create new ones that will have a more substantial and lasting impact on homeless populations.

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-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.

HUD estimates there were 564,708 persons experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2015. Since 2010 local communities around the country reported a declined by more than 72,000 persons, an 11 percent reduction. In addition, veteran homelessness fell by 36 percent, chronic homelessness declined 22 percent and between 2010 and January 2015, family homelessness declined by 19 percent, while the estimated number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children was 36,097.

Across the nation, local homelessness planning agencies called ‘Continuums of Care’ recently organized volunteers 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 2016 national homeless estimate.

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