PROVIDENCE, RI – December 20, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today announced that Rhode Island will receive $4.6 million in federal Continuum of Care funding to combat homelessness. These funds were made available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Supportive Housing and Shelter Plus Care programs, which supports a multi-layered approach to addressing the economic, physical, and social needs of struggling Rhode Islanders and helps them obtain housing and supportive services.
“This federal funding is a smart investment in reducing homelessness in Rhode Island. It will help keep families off the streets and give them an opportunity to return to self-sufficiency and independence. We are committed to preventing and ending homelessness throughout the state, and these funds are vital to keeping that commitment,” said Reed, the author of the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act, which President Obama signed into law in May of 2009. In addition to boosting targeted homelessness assistance and prevention grant programs going forward, Reed’s legislation mandated that the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness produce a “national strategic plan” to end homelessness, which became the White House’s new strategy called “Opening Doors.”
According to a new HUD report released earlier this month, Rhode Island saw a nearly 20 percent drop in homelessness in January 2011 compared with January 2010, with an estimated 1,070 Rhode Islanders experiencing homelessness on a given night in January 2011, down from 1,282 in 2010. The number of families experiencing homelessness in Rhode Island also declined significantly, from 216 last year down to 137 in 2011.
Nationwide, the report showed homelessness dropped 2.1 percent, according to data reported by more than 3,000 cities and counties throughout the United States. The annual “point-in-time” survey estimated that on a single night in January 2011, 636,017 Americans were homeless.
HUD found that, in addition to the reduction in overall homelessness, veteran homelessness decreased by almost 12 percent, family homelessness decreased by 2.8 percent, and chronic homelessness decreased by 2.4 percent, all compared to January 2010.
Continuum of Care grants support permanent and transitional homes, as well as a wide range of supportive services, such as job training, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, and child care.
The HUD grants will help fund over 40 homeless programs throughout Rhode Island, including Rhode Island Housing; Family Resources Community Action; Newport County Community Mental Health Center; ACCESS-RI; Amos House; The Agape Center; Constitution Hill Supportive Housing Program; Crossroads Apartments North Kingstown; Crossroads Providence Transitional Housing; East Bay Coalition for the Homeless Transitional Housing; East, Earl and Warwick Avenue; Family Case Management; First Step Program; Fran Conway House of Hope; Gateway to Independence; Gateway Transitional Housing Program; Gemini Apartments; Greater Westerly Supportive Housing Expansion Initiative; Haswill Street; Housing Locator Phase II; Johnston Veterans Program; Lucy’s Hearth Transitional Expansion Program; MAP Transitional Housing Program; Operation Stand Down Rhode Island/West Warwick; Permanent Housing for Disabled Adults; Permanent Housing for Disabled Elders; Rhode Island Family Shelter; Rhode Island Homeless Information System; SSTARBIRTH; The Key; The Sarah Francis Grant Homestead; Transitional Housing – New Hope for Families; Transitional Housing Project; Travelers Aid Housing Tower; Travelers Aid of RI; Urban League of Rhode Island Safe Haven I and II; Winter Avenue; Ledge Street; and McKinney Transitional Shelter.