(205) 731-2630 ext. 1129
December 19, 2003
BUSH ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES RECORD $1.27 BILLION TO HELP HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES
Northwest Alabama receives record $770,000
BIRMINGHAM - Thousands of local programs that house and serve the
homeless are being awarded nearly $1.3 billion in grants announced
today by Housing and Urban Development Acting Secretary Alphonso
Jackson. Never before has any federal agency awarded so much financial
assistance to help the homeless. HUD's grants include a record
funding to the City of Birmingham ($5,615,923) as part of a statewide total of $12,765,788.
Today's announcement is also part of a larger federal strategy
being embraced by state and local leaders to end
long-term or chronic homelessness for persons who are mentally ill, addicted or physically disabled. To date, more than 60 states, cities and county governments are developing their own 10-year plans to end chronic homelessness. This is also the third consecutive year funding for homeless assistance has increased to record levels.
"Today's announcement is another example of the Bush Administration's
commitment to help homeless individuals
and families move beyond a life on the streets," said Jackson. "These grants renew our pledge to thousands of local programs who are on the front lines of helping house and serve our homeless neighbors."
HUD is awarding two types of grants:
- Continuum of Care grants provide permanent and transitional
housing to homeless persons. In addition,
these Continuum grants fund services like job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance
abuse treatment and child care.
- Emergency Shelter Grants convert buildings into homeless
shelters, assist in the operation of local shelters
and fund related social service and homeless prevention programs.
HUD's Continuum of Care and Emergency Shelter Grant programs will provide critically needed funding to more than 3,700 local programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. As a result, over 700,000 persons will receive the housing and services they need to become self-sufficient.
Most of the funding announced throughout Alabama today, $10,661,630
million in Continuum of Care grants, is awarded competitively
to local programs to meet the needs of their homeless clients. Continuum
outreach and assessment programs at the local level as well as provide transitional and permanent housing to homeless persons and families.
By contrast, $2.1 million in Emergency Shelter Grants are being awarded to more than 5 communities based on a formula of a community's need. Emergency Shelter Grants help state and local governments create, improve and operate emergency shelters for homeless people. In addition, these grants may also support essential services including job training, health care, drug/alcohol treatment, childcare and homelessness prevention activities.
Approximately $140 million of the Continuum grants awarded
nationally will renew funding of existing programs
through HUD's Shelter Plus Care program which helps to pay rent and provide permanent housing for disabled
homeless individuals and their families. The Shelter Plus Care program requires that HUD-funded projects help their clients live independently and provide needed supportive services from funding sources other than HUD.
For nearly three years, HUD has increasingly emphasized the Bush
Administration's goal of ending chronic homelessness in its assistance
programs. Research indicates that approximately 10 percent of all
homeless persons experience long-term or chronic homelessness. These
studies also find that this population utilizes over half of all
emergency shelter resources designed to assist homeless individuals
and families. By shifting the federal emphasis toward meeting the
needs of the most vulnerable homeless persons, more resources become
available for those
who experience homelessness as a temporary condition.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.