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Politics

HUD Sending $85 Million to Florida to Fight Homelessness

February 12, 2019 - 7:30am
Ben Carson
Ben Carson

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.”

Comments

As a volunteer at our parish we witness homeless and have made up homeless food packets to fit in their backpacks. We have provided tents and blankets for shelter during the winter months. It's a real problem in our area. We use to provide a few night's lodging for the homeless but none of the hotels in the area will accept our clients as the hotels found too much destruction of their property and bad behavior by the homeless. We desperately need shelters to house them. Appreciate any help you can provide. Thanks Dr. Carson. Unfortunately many of the homeless never get counted so the number are not the true number. We receive many homeless in our area from northern states who send them here stating there are more opportunities here which is false. Shuffling the problem doesn't solve the problem.

Many homeless, need a place to call home, with an address to call home, so they can get back on their feet. Homeless Shelters peppered across Florida would be a great start. In order to get a job, you have to have an address. Shelters are more than just a place to sleep for the night. They should also provide services to regain employment. Too many find panhandling on street corners more appealing than working. It's tax free money for them. That attitude has to change as well. Being productive, also means a willingness to contribute to the governments finances as well. 85 million could build and run several homeless housing facilities, with staff ready to get these people back on their feet again.

Too many disconnected programs. There should be a unified, state-wide, state-based effort.

thank you for helping the homeless GOD BLESS EVERYONE I WAS HOMELESS YEARES A GO FOR 5 YEARES AND WENT THROGH HELL AND BACK

Thank you, Ben! It is a great time to be a Floridian. I knew Ben Carson would show favortism to Florida in the form of providing what help he could give us for what he considers one of our state's biggest problems. It is so good to have friends in high places and that goodness the leadership in Florida has no problem accepting the benefits of supporting our President and what he is diligently doing for this country. May the benefits continue but more importantly, I pray our leaders in Tallahassee are aware we are watching them closely to make sure we get really great results from application of this money. We want homelessness eradicated here in South Florida and all over our state. There is no excuse for not providing the resources now that we have an abundance of private and public money being thrown at the problem. We are a fun, happy, vacation destination that needs to present a prosperous image in order to attract more tourism which in turn puts even more $$ into our State coffers to better handle more problems. Win, win for everyone IF the money is wisely spent. Homelessness is a stain on our State's character or lack of it. To our state leaders: No funny business with this money, PLEASE!! Use all of it for the purpose intended or you'll answer to your constituents!

"...HUD noted that communities across Florida reported homelessness declined in 2018." Because the counties ship homeless people out of state.

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