Baltimore Area Homeless Shelters Face Federal Funding Cuts

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development is cutting $3.8 million in aide provided to nonprofit and faith based organizations in Baltimore that provide sheltering for the homeless.

The move is aimed at redirecting support efforts from temporary sheltering to permanent housing for the homeless. It would cut funding to nearly all of the Baltimore-based programs that rely on it.

As reported in The Baltimore Sun:

Federal officials say the cuts represent a shift in priorities as they try to redirect money around the country toward permanent housing for the homeless rather than temporary facilities.

Advocates for the homeless in Baltimore say they might have to close facilities and cancel services as a result. Organizations such as the House of Ruth, Associated Catholic Charities, Marian House and the Salvation Army were caught off guard last week when the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development decided to discontinue grants to 19 of 21 Baltimore-based programs that rely on federal funding to provide temporary housing and outreach services for the homeless.

The federal agency will still provide about $20 million in grants for homeless programs in Baltimore. The cuts come as the agency rewards programs that provide permanent housing for the homeless, in response to a series of studies that show that such a focus is more effective than temporary housing, officials said.

Brian Sullivan, a HUD spokesman, said federal officials asked jurisdictions across the country to prioritize such programs.

“We recognize that local planners are making tough decisions about the programs they support,” he said. “We know how to end homelessness. While transitional housing can be an important tool in managing homelessness, we’re encouraging communities to offer permanent housing solutions to an even greater number of persons and families who are experiencing homelessness.”

For more information read the full article in The Baltimore Sun.

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