LITTLE ROCK - U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today awarded $652,977 to support five local homeless housing and service programs in Arkansas. Provided through HUD's Continuum of Care programs, the funding announced today will ensure these local homeless assistance programs remain operating in the coming year. A list of today's grantees and amounts follows.
This is HUD's second round of FY 2012 homeless program grants. This past March, HUD awarded renewal grants to hundreds of other existing local programs and it will make a third round of funding to support selected new projects later this year.
"We know these modest investments in housing and services to our homeless neighbors not only saves money, but saves lives," said Donovan. "These local programs are on the front lines of the Obama Administration's efforts to prevent and end homelessness as we know it once and for all."
HUD's Continuum of Care grants are awarded competitively to local projects to meet the needs of their homeless clients. The grants fund a wide variety of programs from street outreach and assessment programs to transitional and permanent housing for homeless persons and families.
While the Fiscal Year 2012 funds awarded today are not impacted by the automatic across-the-board budget cuts under sequestration that began March 1st, Donovan cautioned that future budget cuts may reverse significant reported declines in homelessness: "During this challenging budget climate, we must make certain that we don't balance our books on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens. When we make even modest investments in these programs, we see a measureable decline in homelessness."
HUD recently announced its 2012 "point in time" estimate of the number of homeless persons in America. Approximately 3,000 cities and counties reported 633,782 homeless persons on a single night in January of 2012, largely unchanged from the year before. While HUD found significant declines among the long-term homeless and veterans, local communities reported an increase in the number of sheltered and unsheltered families with children. In Arkansas, local communities reported a 23 percent rise in overall in homelessness in 2012.
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 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 by 2015 and to ending homelessness among children, family, and youth by 2020.
|Today's grantees in Arkansas are:
|Little Rock Community Mental Health Center / Little Rock Community Mental Health Center Joseph Supportive Housing Program
|Women & Children First / FY 2012 Transitional Housing
|Bethlehem House, Inc. / Transitional Housing Program
|Health Resources of Arkansas / Delta Hills Supportive Services Only SHP Program
|Committee Against Spouse Abuse / Transitional Housing for Victims of Domestic Violence Expansion Project