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(116,464 posts)
Tue Dec 20, 2011, 08:48 PM Dec 2011

Obama administration issues report on homelessness in 2011; awards $1.5 billion to local programs [View all]

More than 3,000 communities report number of homeless individuals, families and veterans

WASHINGTON – On a single night last January, 636,017 people were homeless in the United States, a 2.1 percent decline from the year before. That’s the key finding of a new count on homelessness announced today by U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. Donovan made the announcement at a meeting of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness where he was joined by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

HUD’s annual “point in time” estimate of the number of homeless persons and families is based on data reported by more than 3,000 cities and counties. While number of homeless persons vary locally, these communities are reporting modest declines in homelessness in every category or subpopulation including individuals, families, veterans and those experiencing long-term or chronic homelessness.

Donovan, who personally participated in the 2011 nighttime count said, “It’s remarkable that in the wake of the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression, we’re witnessing an across-the-board drop in homelessness. This tells us that the Obama Administration’s homelessness strategy is working and the results spur us to continue working to end homelessness in America once and for all.”

“These numbers are a step in the right direction, especially for some of our more vulnerable populations such as veterans,” said Secretary Solis, who served as chair of the Interagency Council in 2011. “With many working families continuing to struggle, the President’s plan will allow us to redouble our efforts to end and prevent homelessness.”

“Reducing homelessness among Veterans by 12 percent since January 2010 is a clear sign of progress, but our work is not complete until no Veteran has to sleep on the street,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We have been successful in achieving this milestone due to strong leadership from the President and hard work by countless community organizations and our federal, state, and local partners who are committed to helping Veterans and their families get back on their feet.”
During one night in late January of 2011, local planners or “Continuums of Care” across the nation conducted a one-night count of their sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations. These one-night ‘snapshot’ counts are then reported to HUD as part of state and local grant applications. While the data reported to HUD does not directly determine the level of a community’s grant funding, these estimates, as well as full-year counts to be released later next year, are crucial in understanding the scope of homelessness and measuring progress in reducing it.

The Obama Administration’s strategic plan to end homelessness is called Opening Doors – aroadmap by 19 federal member agencies of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness along with local and state partners in the public and private sectors. The plan puts the country on a path to end veterans and chronic homelessness by 2015; and to ending homelessness among children, family, and youth by 2020. The Plan presents strategies building upon the lesson that mainstream housing, health, education, and human service programs must be fully engaged and coordinated to prevent and end homelessness.

“Over the last 18 months, we’ve seen unprecedented levels of collaboration within the federal government,” said U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Executive Director Barbara Poppe. “The federal government is partnering more effectively with states and local communities across the nation to align our efforts to make progress on the goals of Opening Doors.”

The reductions reported today are attributed in part to the impact of HUD’s $1.5 billion Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP), a program designed to assist individuals and families confronted by a sudden economic crisis. Funded through the Recovery Act, HPRP spared more than one million persons from homelessness by offering them short-term rent assistance, security and utility deposits, and moving expenses. The US Conference of Mayors has described HPRP as “fundamentally changing” the way communities respond to homelessness.

In addition, HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are collaborating on a joint program called HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH). To date, this targeted rental assistance program provided more than 33,000 homeless veterans permanent supportive housing through rental vouchers provided by HUD along with supportive services and case management by VA. The national estimate announced today reveal a particularly large decrease in the number of homeless veterans – nearly 12 percent.


The U.S. Conference of Mayors just issued a report citing an increase in homelessness, but with a disclaimer:

Limitations of Report

Only cities whose mayors are members of The U.S. Conference of Mayors Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness were invited to submit information for this report. These cities do not constitute a representative sample of U.S.cities, the data reported reflect only the experience of the cities that responded to the survey, and this report, therefore, should not be interpreted as a national assessment of the problems of hunger and homelessness.


Funding supports Obama Administration strategy to prevent and end homelessness
WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today awarded $1.47 billion to renew funding to more than 7,100 local homeless programs operating across the country. The funding announced today will ensure these housing and service programs remain operating in 2012 and are a critical part of the Obama Administration’s strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. View a complete list of all the state and local homeless assistance programs awarded funding.

The funding announced today is $62 million more than last year, the most homeless assistance ever awarded by the Department. HUD is renewing funding through its Continuum of Care programs to existing local programs as quickly as possible to prevent any interruption in federal assistance and will award funds to new projects in early 2012.

“The grants we’re awarding today will literally keep the doors of our shelters open and will help those on the front lines of ending homelessness do what they do best,” said Donovan. “It’s incredible that as we work to recover from the greatest economic decline since the Great Depression, the total number of homeless Americans is declining, in large part because of these funds.”

Last week, HUD announced its 2011 “point in time” estimate of the number of homeless persons in America. Approximately 3,000 cities and counties reported 636,000 homeless persons on a single night in January of 2011, a 2.1 percent decline from the year before. This documented reduction in homelessness was noticed among all population groups including individuals, families, and those experiencing long-term or chronic homeless. In addition, HUD’s estimate reveals a 12 percent reduction in homelessness among veterans.

HUD’s Continuum of Care grants announced today provide permanent and transitional housing to homeless persons as well as services including job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care. Continuum of Care grants are awarded competitively to local programs to meet the needs of their homeless clients. These grants fund a wide variety of programs from street outreach and assessment programs to transitional and permanent housing for homeless persons and families.

Last year, President Obama and 19 federal agencies and offices that form the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) launched the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness. Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness puts the country on a path to end veterans and chronic homelessness by 2015 and to ending homelessness among children, family, and youth by 2020.

In addition to HUD’s annual grant awards, HUD continues to manage the $1.5 billion Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing (HPRP) Program. Made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, this three-year grant program is intended to prevent persons from falling into homelessness or to rapidly re-house them if they do. To date, more than one million persons have been assisted through HPRP.


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Kick! n/t ProSense Dec 2011 #1
And Rec! n/t Zalatix Dec 2011 #2
"Too little, too late", blah blah blah -- blah blah blah... NYC_SKP Dec 2011 #3
Obviously, ProSense Dec 2011 #7
Well they better haul ass to Michigan. MichiganVote Dec 2011 #4
These programs ProSense Dec 2011 #5
Kick! n/t ProSense Dec 2011 #6
Obama has 19 federal agencies working on the homelessness problem. great white snark Dec 2011 #8
That ProSense Dec 2011 #14
It's nothing short of amazing that he's been able to move the dial AtomicKitten Dec 2011 #9
Yup, ProSense Dec 2011 #12
Another accomplishment of the Obama Administration MineralMan Dec 2011 #10
Good news. Scurrilous Dec 2011 #11
I am glad to read about this..... FrenchieCat Dec 2011 #13
Put it on ProSense Dec 2011 #15
K&R...nt SidDithers Jan 2012 #17
Thanks ProSense Jan 2012 #18
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