Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been awarded to three social programs in Gary as part of a $16 million grant from HUD to combat homelessness.
Continuum of care Network of NWI, Edgewater Shelter Plus Care and Edgewater South Shore Commons are among 90 programs in Indiana that will receive a total of $16 million in funds from HUD, the federal agency announced on Tuesday, March 8. Overall, HUD awarded $1.6 billion to 6,400 homeless programs around the country.
Nearly $257,000 was awarded to Continuum of Care Network of NWI. Edgewater Shelter Plus Care received nearly $205,000 and the Edgewater South Shore Commons program was awarded $243,719.
Homelessness in Indiana has been steadily dropping in recent years. According to the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority, in 2014, there were nearly 5,971 homeless persons on the street, a two percent decrease from the previous year.
The grants support the Obama Administration’s efforts to end homelessness by providing critically needed housing and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. HUD will award approximately $300 million in “Tier 2 grants” in the spring to support hundreds more local programs across the U.S.
“A safe, stable home is the foundation for opportunity in all of our lives,” said Secretary Castro. “That’s why we’re continuing to challenge communities to deploy proven strategies to help people experiencing homelessness find a place to call home. Through unprecedented partnership among every level of government and private, non-profit and philanthropic organizations, we know this goal is not just aspirational – it’s achievable.”
“HUD is laser focused on providing targeted assistance to our veterans, individuals and families to make sure they are not calling the streets their home,” said Antonio R. Riley, HUD Midwest Regional Administrator. “We are redoubling our efforts to support permanent housing solutions that deter chronic homelessness for all. We can and must end homelessness in Indiana.”
This year’s grants are being awarded in the most competitive environment HUD has experienced in the Continuum of Care grant program. To compete most effectively, communities made very challenging decisions, often shifting funds from existing projects to create new ones that will have a more substantial and lasting impact on homeless populations.
In 2010, President Obama and 19 federal agencies and offices that form the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) laun-ched 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 homelessn-ess among children, family, and youth.
HUD estimates there were 564,708 persons experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2015. Since 2010 local communities around the country reported a declined by more than 72,000 persons, an 11 percent reduction. In addition, veteran homelessness fell by 36 percent, chronic homelessness declined 22 percent and between 2010 and January 2015, family homelessness declined by 19 percent, while the estimated number of unaccompanied ho-meless youth and children was 36,097.
Across the nation, local homelessness planning agencies called ‘Continuums of Care’ recently organized volunteers 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 2016 national homeless estimate.