$1.3 Million in New Funding to Fight Homelessness in Rhode Island

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI), U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo announced today that the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless and Social Finance is receiving nearly $1.3 million in new federal funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Pay for Success Permanent Supportive Housing Demonstration Program.

“This grant will provide critical housing and support services to thousands of homeless Rhode Islanders who are struggling to get back up on their feet,” said Congressman Cicilline, who helped secure this grant by authoring a letter of support and later personally advocating for it with HUD Secretary Julian Castro. “While this is grant will help address the problem of chronic homelessness in Rhode Island, we must do more to make sure we help Rhode Islanders who have fallen on hard times. No one should ever have to live on the streets or worry about where their next meal will come from or face mental health and substance abuse issues alone. This federal funding will not only help provide permanent housing to the homeless, but it will also provide access to critical services to address mental health, substance abuse, legal issues and unemployment.”

“When people can’t find an affordable place to live and end up cycling through the corrections system, it raises taxpayer costs, and does the individual no good,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who wrote a letter of support for the grant. “This federal grant will connect those in and out of the system with housing and services to help them stay on stable and successful footing.”

“This new federal funding will help address chronic homelessness among Rhode Island’s ex-offender population, making our State safer and bringing down costs over time,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “The grant will strengthen important efforts to provide housing supports, behavioral health treatment, and other services that will reduce recidivism. I want to thank our agency directors responsible for corrections, behavioral health, and the Office of Management and Budget, as well as our state’s Housing Resources Commission, for joining me in sending a letter of support for this application – and I applaud the Congressional Delegation for their work to help bring these funds to our state.”

The new federal funding will provide significant resources for housing and behavioral health services for chronically homeless individuals in Rhode Island who are cycling through the criminal justice system. Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice and implemented through a HUD/DOJ partnership, HUD’s Pay for Success Permanent Supportive Housing Demonstration advances a model that offers a new source of financing to expand permanent supportive housing for the reentry population.

Over the years, research has shown a clear correlation between homelessness and incarceration. A prior history of homelessness is 7.5 times more common among inmates than the general population, and at least one out of every four homeless individuals has a history of incarceration. One in five incarcerated individuals will become homeless once they re-enter society, and more than 10% of people who recidivating from jail or prison are homeless beforehand.

Pay for Success programs are public-private partnerships that allow state and local governments to develop innovative policy solutions at no risk to taxpayers. The grant announced today will support the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless’s efforts to assist ex-offenders who use homelessness, health care, and other crisis services.

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