Grants to support innovative housing programs in 23 communities nationwide
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is awarding $75 million to end youth homelessness in 23 local communities, including eight rural areas, across the country. HUD’s youth homelessness demonstration program (YHDP) will help these communities to build local systems and will support a wide range of housing programs, including rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing, and host homes.
In Buffalo, HUD is awarding $3,592,570 to Homeless Alliance of Western New York, the lead agency for both the Continuum of Care and the Homeless Management Information System in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties.
“Homelessness is no way to start out in life for young people reaching adulthood,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “Today we make another critical investment in the futures of our young people, sparing them a life on the streets or in our shelters and placing them on a path to self-sufficiency.”
“HUD has taken a proactive approach in communities across the nation to better understand the needs of the homeless youth we serve,” said Lynne Patton, HUD regional administrator for New York and New Jersey. “There are over 10,000 homeless youth, some with children, in New York and New Jersey, and this funding provides resources for a vital step in ending youth homelessness, ensuring that solutions are effective in these communities and can serve as a roadmap for the rest of the nation.”
HUD developed YHDP with youth in mind, relying upon the recommendations provided directly from young people who had experienced homelessness. To ensure the program meets the needs of young people, HUD incorporated many of the same young people who provided recommendations on the program’s design in the application review process. Their assessment helped HUD ensure grant applicants understood the needs and preferences of the young people they will serve. HUD also worked closely with its federal partners to help develop the program and review applications, including the Departments of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Recipients will use this funding to support a variety of housing options for young people under the age of 25 and who are experiencing homelessness. YHDP will also support youth-focused performance measurement and coordinated entry systems to quickly connect young people with other services and systems of care.
“These funds will allow us to improve services to youth facing homelessness and give them the support they need to hopefully never have to face a housing crisis again,” said Dale Zuchlewski, executive director, Homeless Alliance of Western New York. “Housing stability helps educational and employment outcomes that people need to be self-sufficient. These funds will allow us to help those youth who have nowhere else to turn, especially the LGBTQ youth who are twice as likely to become homeless.”
Over the next several months, the communities selected for these grants will work with their youth action boards, child welfare agencies, and other community partners to create a comprehensive community plan to end youth homelessness. They will also participate in a program evaluation to inform the federal effort to prevent and end youth homelessness going forward and will serve as leaders in the nation on the work to end homelessness among young people.