The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it was sending more funds to the Sunshine State to help battle homelessness.
U.S. HUD Sec. Ben Carson announced at the end of last week his department was sending an additional $6.7 million to back 47 new programs across the state in addition to the almost $79 million going to 250 other programs in Florida that he announced last month.
“Combined, this funding represents a record investment to support state and local efforts across the nation to reduce and end homelessness,” HUD noted on Friday.
“Today we make another critical investment to those persons and families living in our shelters and on our streets,” Carson said on Friday. “These new programs will join those already on the front lines in their communities working to end homelessness.”
With more than $85 million headed to almost 250 homeless programs in Florida, there are some signs on success.
At the end of last year, HUD noted that communities across Florida reported homelessness declined in 2018.
HUD’s 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that 31.030 Floridians experienced homelessness on a single night in 2018, a decrease of 3.6 percent since last year. Meanwhile, homelessness among veterans decreased 9.7 percent while during 2011-2018 it decreased 54.9 percent. Homelessness experienced by families with children decreased 3.1 percent statewide since 2017.
Carson weighed in on the report in the middle of December.
“Our state and local partners are increasingly focused on finding lasting solutions to homelessness even as they struggle against the headwinds of rising rents,” said Carson. “Much progress is being made and much work remains to be done, but I have great hope that communities all across our nation are intent on preventing and ending homelessness.”
“Communities across the country are getting better and better at making sure that people exit homelessness quickly through Housing First approaches,” said Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. “We know, however, that a lack of housing that people can afford is the fundamental obstacle to making further progress in many communities.”