Four dozen programs run by nonprofits and government agencies in San Diego County were awarded more than $20 million in U.S. Housing and Urban Development grants meant to reduce homelessness, it was announced this week.
Nationwide, the grants totaled more than $2 billion.
According to a HUD media statement, "HUD's Continuum of Care grants provide critically needed support to local programs on the front lines of serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness".
MA overall received more than $73 million in federal grants from the Department of Housing (HUD).
This year, HUD is working with state and local governments, nonprofits and other groups to showcase more effective solutions to homelessness. Behind California comes NY (579 programs and $200 million in funding), IL (418 programs and $109 million in funding), Pennsylvania (519 programs and $102 million in funding), and OH (316 programs and $95 million in funding). "Progress is being made but we must remain resolute in our mutual commitment to more innovatively and effectively address homelessness through a housing-first approach that is evidence based".
"Our local partners are to be commended for their commitment and ongoing efforts to address homelessness, said Denise Cleveland-Leggett, HUD Southeast Regional Administrator".
A significant increase in the number of reported persons experiencing unsheltered homelessness, particularly in high-cost rental markets where there is a significant shortage of affordable housing. That was 0.7 percent higher than in 2016.
According to a HUD report, homelessness declined in MA in 2017 compared to 2016. In addition, Veteran homelessness increased 27 persons to 583 or 4.8 percent since January 2016, demonstrating the need to continue providing assistance to this vulnerable population.
Across the nation, local homelessness planning agencies known as Continuums of Care will organize volunteers to help count the number of people located in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and living unsheltered on the streets. In addition to coordinating funding for area homeless programs, they will count all local homeless people in a single night at a later point in the year.