The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a $365 million package aimed at efforts to reduce homelessness and provide outreach and care for people lacking adequate housing.
The federal government hopes to ease the nationwide homelessness crisis with a new package of funding announced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). According to an article by Sarah Holder in Bloomberg CityLab, the package “includes $43 million worth of housing choice vouchers, which provide recipients with permanent subsidized housing, and $322 million in Continuum of Care homelessness grants.”
And it’s not a coincidence that this week’s funding announcement comes at a time when some statehouses are advancing legislation that would ban camping in public right-of-ways, and law enforcement officers in places like Los Angeles and New York have doubled down on conducting sweeps of encampments — a sometimes violent practice that advocates warn does little to get people off the streets long term and can lead to harmful cycles between jail and the streets.
In a statement, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said “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.” Fudge said the funding should create the resources for local agencies 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.”
The model known as Housing First, which promotes placing people into housing without prerequisites, has helped cities like Houston and Denver drastically reduce the number of people living without shelter.
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