As we approach the holidays, it is always nice to be able to share stories of hope and inspiration. If we take a look back at some of the announcements made by HUD over the past week, we can see truly encouraging progress by the Obama Administration when it comes to the fight against homelessness in our nation.
On December 12th, Secretary Donovan and Veteran’s Affairs Secretary Shinseki reported a 12% decrease in the number of homeless veteran’s compared to the previous year. Secretary Shinseki also announced $100 million in grants available to community agencies to prevent homelessness by assisting low income Veterans at risk of becoming homeless. This is particularly important as we welcome home thousands of returning troops from Iraq, all of whom deserve the country’s utmost effort to ensure a smooth transition to civilian life.
A day later on December 13th, we released our annual “Point-in-Time” count, an estimate of the number of homeless persons and families throughout America, showed a 2.1% decline in total homeless numbers. Reductions were reported in homelessness in every category or subpopulation including individuals, families, veterans and those experiencing long-term or chronic homelessness.
And finally, Secretary Donovan today announced $1.47 billion of awarded funding through HUD’s Continuum of Care grants to renew provisions to more than 7,100 local homeless programs operating across the country. The funding announced today will ensure these housing and service programs continue helping families in 2012.
As we move into the New Year, all of us at HUD are committed to continue fighting until we can to make homelessness a thing of the past.