The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is awarding more than $4.3 million to end youth homelessness in the City of Springfield and Franklin County. This funding is part of $75 million being awarded to end youth homelessness in 23 local communities, including eight rural areas, across the country. HUD’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) will help these communities to build local systems and will support a wide range of housing programs including rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing, and host homes. The City of Springfield is awarded a $2,424,0244 grant and Community Action Pioneer Valley is awarded $1,958,837. More than $10.7 million in Youth Homeless Demonstration Program grant funding is being awarded across New England in four separate grants. See below for list of grantees.
“In being selected for this funding, Springfield and Community Action Pioneer Valley have demonstrated they have the key ingredients needed to successfully put in place a plan to end youth homelessness,” said David Tille, HUD New England Regional Administrator. “We look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with our Western Massachusetts partners as we break the cycle of homelessness by creating innovative approaches to help young people find stable housing that will lead them on a path to self-sufficiency.”
“First of all, I would like to thank Congressman Neal, HUD Secretary Carson and HUD New England Regional Administrator Tille for this initiative,” said Mayor Sarno. “Though we have made positive strides in tackling homelessness in Springfield, there is more to be done and no youth should ever be left without the positive foundation of a home. This investment of not only a home, but just as importantly, in the human spirit, makes for a better Springfield…a better Massachusetts…a better America.”
HUD developed YHDP with youth in mind, relying upon the recommendations provided directly from young people who had experienced homelessness. To ensure that the program meets the needs of young people, HUD incorporated many of the same young people who provided recommendations on the program’s design in the application review process. Their assessment helped HUD ensure that grant applicants understood the needs and preferences of the young people they will serve. HUD also worked closely with its federal partners to help develop the program and review applications, including the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Education (DOE), and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH).
Recipients will use this funding to support a variety of housing options for young people under the age of 25 and who are experiencing homelessness. YHDP will also support youth-focused performance measurement and coordinated entry systems to quickly connect young people with other services and systems of care.
"The designation as a Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program Community will allow Community Action Pioneer Valley and the Three County Continuum of Care to amplify the voices of young people with lived experience to create a system that better responds to their needs and will be more effective in preventing and ending youth/young adult homelessness, " said Lisa Goldsmith, Homeless Youth Services Manager, Community Action Pioneer Valley.
Over the next several months, the communities selected for these grants will work with their ‘youth action boards,’ child welfare agencies, and other community partners to create a comprehensive community plan to end youth homelessness. They will also participate in a program evaluation to inform the federal effort to prevent and end youth homelessness going forward and will serve as leaders in the nation on the work to end homelessness among young people.
HUD is awarding grants to the following communities:
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation
City of Tucson
United Way of Coastal Fairfield County
District of Columbia
The Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness
Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners
West Palm Beach
Aloha United Way, Inc.
City of Des Moines
Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County
City of Indianapolis
City of Springfield
Community Action Pioneer Valley
Prince George's County
City of Baltimore - Mayor's Office of Human Services
Maine State Housing Authority
Open Doors Homeless Coalition
Montana Continuum of Care Coalition
Homeless Alliance of Western New York
State of Ohio
Clackamas County Health, Housing & Human Services
South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless
Heart of Texas Homeless Coalition
Wyoming Homeless Collaborative