Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama Combatting Homelessness

President Barack Obama will use $10 billion of HUD money "to create green jobs, to revive housing markets with high rates of foreclosure, and curb homelessness." The money will come from the Promoting Stable Communities and Helping Families Hardest Hit by the Economic Crisis.

These investments will help communities and families that have experienced the brunt of the economic downturn. Resources will be used to stabilize and revive local neighborhoods and housing markets with heavy concentrations of foreclosed properties. Funds will also assist the vulnerable families and individuals who are on the brink of homelessness or have recently become homeless.

HUD has also set up the Homelessness Prevention Fund.

HUD is allocating nearly $1.5 billion to state and local governments to help rapidly re-house homeless persons and families who enter shelters. In addition, HUD's Homelessness Prevention Fund will significantly expand efforts to prevent homelessness among those facing a sudden economic crisis.

Florida will get $74 million for homeless-assistance programs.

Orlando has been granted $6 million to stop the growing homeless population.

"Millions for the homeless? Let me see it. I pray to God that there's an honest bookkeeper," homeless man Charles Theus said.

The Coalition for the Homeless will use the money to place homeless people in apartments. I'm interested in what Jackie Dowd has to say about this. Dowd is an Orlando homeless advocate attorney.

In Tampa, the United Way is asking for $1.3 million. The Tampa United Way's fundraiing fell by $2 million in 2008. Marc Sutherland of America's Second Harvest of Tampa said, "The need is going up and it's getting harder and harder to get food for these programs." America's Second Harvest of Tampa provides food to 350 agencies that feed the homeless.

Miami-Dade county will receive $25.6 million. Mayor Carlos Alvarez gave the right message about the grant money.

Member of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust Board, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez declared, "This record level of funding represents a continued commitment on behalf of U.S. HUD to help communities that have helped themselves. We are fortunate to have these additional funds to help these needy families and individuals; and grateful to HUD for their collaboration in addressing those most in need."

Jacksonville received a meager $2 million.

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At March 07, 2009 9:34 AM , Blogger Jacqueline Dowd said...

The total for Orlando is actually $5.7 million (close enought to say $6 million).

Of that, $3.1 million goes to renewal grants for existing services.

The new projects include: 10 beds for individuals with severe mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders ($518,000); 16 beds for women with co-ocurring disorders ($260,000) and 8 beds for domestic violence victims ($278,000). There's also $240,000 for a homeless prevention center.

And $1.1 million goes to a pilot project called "rapid rehousing." Over 3 years, this program will (we hope) provide housing for 75 to 100 families with children coming from emergency shelters or the streets.

Sorry I've been AWOL. I've been buried in lawbooks, writing an appellate brief in the Orlando homeless feeding lawsuit.

the 13th juror


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