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CUOMO ANNOUNCES $6.6 MILLION IN ASSISTANCE TO HELP HOMELESS PEOPLE IN METRO DENVER
DENVER - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced $6.6 million in grants to provide housing and needed services to help people in the Denver metropolitan area move from homelessness to self-sufficiency.
Cuomo made the announcement at a news conference in Denver with Denver Mayor Wellington Webb at the Samaritan House, a homeless service provider.
"These funds will give homeless people in Denver the opportunity to turn their lives around," Cuomo said. "We will help people overcome the problems that made them homeless, and help them move on to jobs and permanent housing."
Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Denver said: "In today's healthy economy, we cannot ignore those who have been left out of the economic mainstream. I commend HUD for their increased assistance to the homeless in our area and for their commitment to the health and welfare of all Americans."
The aid to the Denver area is part of HUD's Continuum of Care approach to homelessness. In addition to providing housing, the Continuum of Care funds a broad range of job training, child care, mental health services, and substance abuse treatment that offer long-term solutions to homelessness. Last year, Denver's Continuum of Care received $4.1 million in competitive funding from HUD.
The grants are awarded to non-profit groups, states, and local governments based on a number of factors that measure the effectiveness of plans to help homeless people become self-sufficient.
The Metropolitan Denver Homeless Initiative is made up of agencies from cities across the six counties of Metro Denver, including Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson. Member organizations and agencies work together in a collaborative effort on the Denver Continuum of Care. Individual grant winners within the Continuum are:
The Continuum of Care, which is the centerpiece of the federal policy on homelessness announced by President Clinton in 1993, stresses permanent solutions to homelessness through comprehensive and collaborative community planning. Communities submit Continuum of Care plans to HUD that reflect efforts to address the complexities of homelessness through a range of housing and services.
This year, the Continuum of Care was one of just ten winners, out of 1,600 competitors, of the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award that is given by the Ford Foundation and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The awards are designed to recognize "cutting edge" government programs that effectively solve problems.
Cuomo released on Dec. 8 the most comprehensive report ever done on homelessness, which showed programs by HUD and others to help homeless people are working.
The landmark study said most people who become homeless have suffered severe hardships - including physical and sexual abuse, childhood trauma, poverty, a poor education, disability and disease - but are successful in escaping homelessness when they get help from federal and other programs.
The report said that when homeless people get housing assistance and needed services,76% of those living in families and 60% of those living alone end their homeless status and move to an improved living situation after completion of the assistance program.
The report is titled The Forgotten Americans - Homelessness: Programs and the People They Serve. It is filled with revealing statistics that tell the story of people around the nation who have fallen through the social safety net into homelessness.
The report said the top priority of homeless people it surveyed was to get a job - the first step to self-sufficiency. It said 44% of homeless people surveyed worked at least part-time during the past month.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009
Content Archived: January 20, 2009