DeKalb Community Development Department competed in national competition for homelessness programs. CONTRIBUTED

HUD awards $5 million for DeKalb homeless programs

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $5 million to 20 homeless projects in DeKalb County. These HUD Continuum of Care program grants support national efforts to prevent and end homelessness. The grants also fund local efforts to permanently house and support those experiencing homelessness in the county.

Project funds are restricted to serve the most vulnerable homeless populations as defined by HUD. Priority is given to the chronically homeless (those who have been homeless the longest), veterans, families and youth.

DeKalb has made steady progress reducing the number of people experiencing homelessness through increased outreach, streamlined access to services, prioritization of those who are in greatest need and by rapidly connecting them with permanent housing solutions.

On a single night in January 2017, 460 persons experienced homelessness in DeKalb. With the support of these HUD CoC grants, overall homelessness in DeKalb has decreased 43 percent since 2014, a decline of more than 341 persons. During that same time, veteran homelessness was reduced 84 percent and the county’s functional zero status was confirmed by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, HUD and the U.S. Department of Homeless Affairs. Additionally, street homelessness declined 35 percent and family homelessness declined 48 percent.

HUD awarded approximately $2.01 billion to homeless projects across the United States through a competitive Notice of Funding Availability process. The DeKalb County Community Development Department coordinated the 2017 local competition process, developed and submitted the winning NOFA application and successfully competed against 450 CoCs nationwide. The consolidated application submitted by the department secured funds for new and renewal permanent housing projects, the Homeless Management Information System, a planning grant and funds to implement a coordinated entry system.

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