On Wednesday, June 22nd, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released approximately $365 million in funding to assist the unsheltered homeless population and address homeless encampments.
Under the funding package, counties can receive three-year Continuum of Care Program grants totaling $322 million. These grants will assist with homeless outreach, permanent housing, supportive services, and other costs as part of a comprehensive community approach to solving unsheltered homelessness. In addition, rural counties may be eligible for funding from a $54.5 million set aside. The package also includes $43 million to fund approximately 4,000 new housing vouchers to be distributed to public housing authorities.
HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge explained the need to prioritize housing for the unsheltered homeless population in a press release:
‘We have a responsibility to ensure that people sleeping in their vehicles, in tents, or on the streets, including in rural areas, have access to decent, stable housing and services, like health care and treatment, to live with dignity and safety,’ said Secretary Fudge. ‘Solving unsheltered homelessness means delivering help to the people who need it the most, but who have the hardest time reaching it. It means putting Housing First and health care and other supportive services right after. With this funding, communities will have the resources to scale up coordinated efforts to humanely and effectively move people from encampments into homes by linking homeless outreach with health care, treatment, and housing.’