Funding meant to aid the homeless

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $8,123,906 to support to 67 homeless housing and service programs in Oklahoma.

The HUD funding is part of a record $2 billion being awarded to more than 7,300 local housing and service programs nationwide.

In Oklahoma, HUD estimates there were 4,199 persons experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2017, and increase of 2.2 percent since last year. In addition, Veteran homelessness decreased by 2.5 percent, chronic homelessness decreased by 16.9 percent and family homelessness increased by  23.9 percent.

“HUD stands with our local partners who are working each and every day to house and serve our most vulnerable neighbors,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “We know how to end homelessness and it starts with embracing a housing-first approach that relies upon proven strategies that offer permanent housing solutions to those who may otherwise be living in our shelters and on our streets.”

“As a former mayor, I’ve seen first-hand the impact homelessness has on our communities and on the lives of the individuals and families experiencing it,” said Beth Van Duyne, HUD Regional Administrator.   “These grants support programs that improve public safety, economic vitality and provide a lifeline to a better future.”

Last month, HUD reported homelessness crept up in the United States, especially among individuals experiencing long-term chronic homelessness.

HUD’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that 553,742 persons experienced homelessness on a single night in 2017, an increase of .7 percent since last year. Homelessness among families with children declined 5.4 percent nationwide since 2016, local communities report the number of persons experiencing long-term chronic homelessness and Veterans increased.

HUD’s 2017 homeless estimate points to a significant increase in the number of reported persons experiencing unsheltered homelessness, particularly in California and other high-cost rental markets experiencing a significant shortage of affordable housing.