December 20, 2005

HUD grants $1.33 bln to groups helping homeless

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Thousands of local programs that
house and serve homeless persons will get $1.33 billion in
federal grants under a new program announced on Tuesday by the
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

HUD said the funds are expected to provide assistance to
about 172,000 persons and families living without a home of
their own.

HUD said the grants were being awarded to nearly 5,000
organizations, ranging from emergency shelters and transitional
housing projects to permanent housing programs.

HUD said $379 million of the funds were targeted to groups
assisting individuals experiencing chronic homelessness, and
$600 million was being awarded to projects that provide
permanent housing for the homeless. Another $206 million will
go to faith-based organizations that house and serve homeless
persons and families.

More than 3,000 local projects that serve mothers and their
children will receive $739 million and 658 programs that
primarily serve victims of domestic violence will receive
nearly $125 million.

Projects serving homeless veterans will get $53.6 million
and nearly $419 million will go to support 1,604 local programs
that primarily help homeless individuals with substance abuse

"Today, we take another step along the road toward ending
chronic homelessness on our streets," HUD Secretary Alphonso
Jackson said in a statement. "This funding will help provide
homes and vital services to those who need them most -- persons
and families who deserve a place they can call home."

HUD said nearly $1.2 billion of grants under its "Continuum
of Care" program are awarded competitively to local programs,
while its Emergency Shelter Grants are allocated to state and
local governments to create, improve and operate emergency
shelters for homeless persons.

These funds may also support essential services including
job training, health care, drug/alcohol treatment, child-care

and homelessness prevention activities, HUD said.