In an ongoing effort to end homelessness, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro today announced $67,691,167 million in grants to support 325 local homeless housing and service programs in Michigan.   HUD’s Continuum of Care grants will ensure these local projects will provide critically needed housing and support services to those persons and families experiencing homelessness. With HUD marking its 50th anniversary this year, Secretary Castro is focused on the Obama Administration’s goal of ending homelessness.
The local programs receiving the grants announced today offer a variety of services to those who are experiencing homelessness including street outreach, client assessment, and direct housing assistance.  Nationally, HUD awarded $1.8 billion. View a complete list of all the state and local homeless projects awarded funding.
“It’s a national shame that anyone would call the streets their home,” said Castro.  “Working with our local partners, we’re redoubling our efforts to support permanent housing solutions for our veterans and those experiencing long-term chronic homelessness.  We’re also focused on providing targeted assistance to families and young people who are falling between the cracks. As a nation, we can and must end homelessness.”
“These grants will build upon the Administration’s ongoing efforts to end homelessness and will assist some of the most vulnerable individuals and families when they need it most. It will lead them on the path towards independence and dignity,” said Antonio R. Riley, HUD Midwest Regional Administrator.
HUD funding will allow local providers to 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. HUD is continuing to challenge local communities to reexamine their response to homelessness and give greater weight to proven strategies, from promoting “Housing First” to providing ‘rapid re-housing’ for homeless families with children and permanent supportive housing for those experiencing chronic homelessness.
Continuum of Care grants are awarded competitively to local projects to meet the needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in their community. The grants fund a wide variety of programs from street outreach and assessment to transitional and permanent housing for homeless persons and families.  HUD funds are a critical part of the Obama Administration’s strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of HUD and Secretary Castro is focused on advancing policies that create opportunity for all Americans.  Ending homelessness is among HUD’s, and the Obama Administration’s, vision.  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 as well as to end homelessness among children, family, and youth.
HUD recently announced its 2014 estimate of the number of homeless persons in America.  There were 578,424 persons experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2014.  Since 2010, local communities around the country reported an overall 10 percent decline in the total number of persons experiencing homelessness and a remarkable 25 percent drop in the number of those living on the streets.  In addition, these state and local planning agencies’ counts reveal a 33 percent drop in homelessness among veterans, including a 43 percent reduction in unsheltered homelessness among veterans.
Across Michigan, local homelessness planning agencies called ‘Continuums of Care’ are organizing volunteers at this time of year 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 2015 national homeless estimate.

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