The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced a first-of-its-kind package of resources to help communities implement coordinated approaches for assisting people experiencing unsheltered homelessness, including funds set aside specifically for vulnerable people in rural communities.
This package—the Initiative for Unsheltered and Rural Homelessness—includes grant funds along with additional vouchers that will enhance communities’ capacity to humanely and effectively solve unsheltered homelessness by connecting vulnerable individuals and families to housing, healthcare, and supportive services.
This Initiative for Unsheltered and Rural Homelessness being made available by HUD strongly promotes partnerships between health and social service providers and public housing authorities (PHAs).
The specific funding package includes:
- $322 million in Continuum of Care Program grants for supportive services, rental assistance, and other costs for efforts to reduce unsheltered homelessness, including a set-aside of $54.5 million specifically for rural communities, as required by Congress. These grants will fund projects for three years, after which they will be eligible for renewal through the annual Continuum of Care program competition.
- $43 million to fund approximately 4,000 new incremental vouchers that can serve families experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, those fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and veterans and families that include a veteran family member that meets one of the proceeding criteria.
Partnering with Supportive Services to End Unsheltered Homelessness
- Health care, treatment, and supportive services are key components of a comprehensive approach to solving unsheltered homelessness.
- Communities that are achieving success in solving unsheltered homelessness and encampments are those that have strong health care partnerships where community health centers, Health Care for the Homeless programs, hospitals, health plans, substance use treatment, mental health, and public health agencies are at the table.
- There are numerous funding opportunities through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that communities can leverage to fund health care, treatment, and supportive services as people transition from unsheltered homelessness into permanent housing.