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WASHINGTON – As part of the Obama Administration’s effort to prevent and end homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded a record $1.95 billion in grants to nearly 7,600 homeless assistance programs across throughout the nation, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  HUD’s Continuum of Care grants provide critically needed support to local programs on the front lines of serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness. View a complete list of all the state and local homeless projects awarded funding.

This year, HUD continued to challenge state and local planning organizations called “Continuums of Care” to support their highest performing local programs that have proven most effective in meeting the needs of persons experiencing homelessness in their communities.  Many of these state and local planners also embraced HUD’s call to shift funds from existing underperforming projects to create new ones that are based on best practices that will further their efforts to prevent and end homelessness.

“Today marks another critical investment in support of those working each and every day to house and serve our most vulnerable neighbors,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “We know how to end homelessness and will continue to encourage our local partners to use the latest evidence to achieve success. These grants support proven strategies to end homelessness once and for all.”

“Continuums of Care across the nation are acting with urgency and resolve, with a focus on using federal resources as effectively and efficiently as possible,” said Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. “The investments being made through these grants are absolutely critical to sustaining and building upon the progress communities are making toward ending homelessness.”

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.

Each year, more than one million people experiencing homelessness are provided emergency, transitional, and permanent housing. The Department estimates there were 549,928 persons experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2016.  Since the launch of Opening Doors in 2010, local communities around the country report:

Ø  The total number of individuals experiencing homelessness declined by 14 percent;

Ø  Veteran homelessness fell by 47 percent;

Ø  Chronic homelessness declined 27 percent; and

Ø  Family homelessness declined by nearly 23 percent.

HUD has launched a robust effort to more accurately account for the youth and young adult population in the nation’s next count slated for next month.  Once local communities gather and report their 2017 data, HUD will issue a new national estimate in the Fall of 2017.