SAN FRANCISCO—The homeless population in California will see aid through 800 programs that will receive federal grants totaling $243 million in the coming year.
A $1.5 billion grant will go toward over 7,000 local homeless programs across the country, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced March 13. The funding will be provided, through HUD’s competitive Continuum of Care program throughout the coming year.
Almost 50 programs in San Francisco County will receive $19.6 million in funding for various projects like the Scattered Sites rent-subsidy program and shelters like the SafeHouse for Women.
While the money given wasn’t affected by the sequestration that went into effect March 1, Donovan urges local planners to be more innovative in resolving homelessness. He warned that future budget cuts might otherwise reverse the declines in homelessness reported in various cities.
“During this challenging budget climate, we must make certain that we don’t balance our books on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens,” Donovan said in a statement. “When we make even modest investments in these programs, we see a measurable decline in homelessness.”
The local projects supported across the nation range from street outreach to client assessment and direct housing assistance. Donovan encouraged a focus on “rapid re-housing” for homeless families and supportive housing for the chronically homeless—strategies that have previously proven successful.
Approximately 633,782 people were homeless in 3,000 cities across the country on any given night last year, according to HUD data. While there have been reported decreases, the number remains close to the previous year’s estimates.
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