Last Thursday, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that it awarded a record $2 billion to homeless assistance programs across the nation.
The money, awarded by the department amid budget cuts, has been divided among 7,300 local homeless assistance programs under HUD’s Continuum of Care program, which grants support to local programs serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
“HUD stands with our local partners who are working each and every day to house and serve our most vulnerable neighbors,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. “We know how to end homelessness and it starts with embracing a housing-first approach that relies upon proven strategies that offer permanent housing solutions to those who may otherwise be living in our shelters and on our streets.”
Los Angeles County — which has the nation’s second-highest number of homeless people of any region at more than 55,000 — received about $122 million.
Almost 109.4 million dollars was granted to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which manages homeless services and programs in the county, LAHSA Communications Director Tom Waldman confirmed. Long Beach received about $8.19 million, Pasadena just over $3.25 million and Glendale slightly above $2.41 million.
“These Awards in conjunction with funds from Measure H will enable our community-based provider agencies to expand the efforts to end homelessness across Los Angeles,” Peter Lynn, LAHSA Executive Director.
Measure H, approved by more than 2/3 of Los Angeles County voters last March, allocates an annual $355 million annually for homeless services.
The NOFA Awards provide more than $1.25 million for two PSH for youth, a total of 82 beds in 74 units.
“It was aggressive and creative leveraging local resources to fund new PSH, including 68 new units for youth,” said Lynn.
California received the largest share of any state, with nearly $382.6 million for 900 programs, according to recent news reports. Here in Los Angeles, homelessness closely rivaled New York City for having one of the largest homeless populations in the country. Los Angeles County’s 55,188 number of homeless people in 2017 was slightly behind New York City’s 76,501, according to the 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress by HUD.
HUD Continuum of Care grant funding supports a broad array of interventions designed to assist individuals and families experiencing homelessness, particularly those living in places not meant for habitation, located in sheltering programs, or at imminent risk of becoming homeless, according to the organization’s officials. Each year, HUD serves more than a million people through emergency shelter, transitional, and permanent housing programs, they said via their website hud.gov.
Recently, HUD reported homelessness crept up in the U.S., especially among individuals experiencing long-term chronic homelessness. HUD’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that 553,742 persons experienced homelessness on a single night in 2017, an increase of .7 percent since last year. Homelessness among families with children declined 5.4 percent nationwide since 2016, local communities report the number of persons experiencing long-term chronic homelessness and Veterans increased. HUD’s 2017 homeless estimate points to a significant increase in the number of reported persons experiencing unsheltered homelessness, particularly in California and other high-cost rental markets experiencing a significant shortage of affordable housing.