HUD awards $88.2 million to Texas homeless programs, $151K to Beaumont
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Thursday awarded more than $88.2 million to support 205 homeless housing and service programs in Texas, including more than $151,000 for the city of Beaumont.
The Continuum of Care grants announced Thursday provide critically needed housing and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness across the state, according to HUD.
HUD is awarding a record $2 billion to more than 7,300 local housing and service programs nationwide. The allotment for Texas is part of that effort.
“HUD stands with our local partners who are working each and every day to house and serve our most vulnerable neighbors,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a news release. “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.”
Beth Van Duyne, a regional administrator for HUD and former mayor of Irving near Dallas, said the 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 U.S., 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.
In Texas, HUD estimates there were 23,548 persons experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2017, and increase of 1.8 percent since last year. In addition, Veteran homelessness increased by 24 percent, chronic homelessness decreased by 1 percent and family homelessness declined by 4.5 percent.
Across the nation, local homelessness planning agencies called ‘Continuums of Care’ will organize volunteers to help count the number of persons located in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and living unsheltered on the streets. These Continuums of Care will report these one-night ‘point-in-time counts’ later in the year and will form the basis of HUD’s 2018 national homeless estimate.