HomeOregon NewsRecord funding allocated to thousands of homeless programs across the US, with...

Record funding allocated to thousands of homeless programs across the US, with over $60 million reserved for programs in Oregon

Oregon – The Biden administration has announced the allocation of more than $3 billion in grants to combat homelessness across the nation. This funding, dedicated to thousands of programs under the 2003 Continuum of Care grants, sets a new record for federal support in the fight against homelessness.

Unprecedented Federal Support for Homeless Programs

The announcement was made by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, who emphasized the administration’s commitment to addressing homelessness. “We are doing all we can to get people off the street and into permanent homes with access to services,” Fudge stated, highlighting the intention behind these grants to empower service providers working directly with affected communities.

A portion of these grants, exceeding $60 million, is earmarked for Oregon, providing a significant boost to local nonprofits and other entities. These funds are destined to support a variety of programs across the state, from Portland to Deschutes, aimed at housing young people and other vulnerable groups. The allocation includes more than $50 million to sustain existing programs, with an additional $4 million focused on housing for young people and over $2 million for launching new initiatives in counties like Clackamas, Lane, Marion, and Multnomah.

Check also: Study: Homelessness in Oregon went up by 8.5% since 2022

Oregon’s congressional delegation, comprising six Democratic lawmakers, has warmly received this financial infusion. Senator Jeff Merkley voiced the collective appreciation, stating, “These new and continuing awards are vital for communities and individuals in need of critical housing resources and support.”

The largest share of the funding is directed towards the Portland area, with Home Forward, Multnomah County’s public housing authority, receiving nearly $8.4 million. This grant will support several ongoing programs that assist nearly 500 households with rent and social services. Martha Calhoon, a spokesperson for Home Forward, expressed gratitude for this “vital funding support” that enables them to adjust to rent increases while continuing to serve the community effectively.

The targeted programs cater to a wide spectrum of low-income individuals, including veterans, people with disabilities, and those struggling with chronic homelessness or addictions. Beneficiaries of these programs contribute 30% of their adjusted gross income towards rent, ensuring that housing remains accessible regardless of their financial situation.

Central City Concern, a prominent Portland-based provider, received the second-largest grant of $3.4 million. This funding is dedicated to ensuring long-term housing stability for individuals with significant needs, including those with severe mental illnesses and chronic homelessness. Last year, the program successfully served around 185 people.

The third substantial grant, nearing $3 million, was awarded to the Washington County Department of Housing Services. This grant aims to house about 200 households with disabilities who are chronically homeless. Emily Roots, a spokeswoman for the department, outlined the comprehensive support services provided, ranging from behavioral health treatment to aging and disability services.

This sweeping federal initiative underscores a concerted effort to not only provide immediate housing solutions but also to address the underlying causes of homelessness through comprehensive support services. By funding programs that offer both housing and holistic care, the Biden administration is taking a multi-faceted approach to mitigate the homelessness crisis, with a particular focus on some of the most vulnerable populations in society.

Lavinia Beaumont


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