More than $38 million awarded to nonprofits providing services to homeless individuals
Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced today the City of Boston has received more than $38 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to be distributed among 17 nonprofit organizations that provide critical services and support to Boston’s unsheltered residents. This funding represents the largest Continuum of Care award that the City has received. The funds will support the work of the nonprofits and advance the goals of Boston’s Way Home, the city’s action plan to end chronic and veteran homelessness. This funding comes at a critical time for organizations providing services to homeless residents, and will bolster their ability to care for populations experiencing homelessness amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding is made available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annual McKinney Homeless Continuum of Care awards, a grant program that the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) has applied for and been awarded every year since Mayor Walsh took office. Over the last six years, DND has grown the funding the city receives from this grant by more than 70 percent, from $22.6 million in 2015 to $38.6 million this year, as a result of their competitive application, and ability to deliver results together with partner agencies.
"The City of Boston is committed to creating opportunities to provide safe, stable housing to all Bostonians," said Mayor Walsh. "This funding will help us increase access to critical services and housing to individuals experiencing homelessness, as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank HUD and the entire Massachusetts delegation for their continued support of these critical services."
The permanent supportive housing that will be created by this funding will combine subsidized rental housing with individualized support services so that individuals with a range of needs can receive the assistance they need to stay housed. The services are designed to build independent living skills and connect people with services such as community-based health care, help with mental health issues, substance use counseling, and employment services.
The City will allocate the HUD funding to programs that support Boston's Way Home, namely organizations that offer a range of services and supports, including housing search, the creation of housing for chronically homeless people, rapid re-housing funds, and stabilization services to allow newly housed chronically homeless individuals to receive the supports they need to succeed.
Organizations receiving funding include:
- Bay Cove Human Services
- Bridge Over Troubled Waters
- Casa Myrna
- Elizabeth Stone House
- Heading Home
- Justice Resource Institute
- Kit Clark Senior Services
- Project Hope
- Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance
- Metro Housing Boston
- New England Center and Home for Veterans
- Pine Street Inn
- St. Francis House
- The Home for Little Wanderers
- Victory Programs
The HUD award is part of more than $96.8 million in funding awarded to 212 Massachusetts homeless assistance programs. This funding is a portion of the $2.5 billion in HUD Continuum of Care (CoC) resources being awarded nationally by the Biden Administration to provide critically needed support to 6,597 local programs on the front lines, serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
“HUD wants to ensure that Boston’s homeless assistance providers continue to receive federal funds needed to provide stable housing for people experiencing homelessness during these trying times,” said Acting HUD Secretary Matt Ammon. “Renewing these grants not only offers relief to our local partners but it allows Continuum of Care to continue their work to end homelessness and help keep our most vulnerable neighbors off the streets.”
The Continuum of Care is a federal program designed to end homelessness by supporting community-wide systems of care, providing funding not only to state and local partners but also to nonprofit providers who are part of the Continuum. This approach creates a more strategic use of resources while improving coordination and integration between programs. It has also been found to improve data collection and performance measurement; and has the benefit of allowing communities to tailor programs to the particular resources, organizations, and challenges of that community. Each year, HUD serves more than a million people through emergency shelter, transitional, and permanent housing programs.
"These Continuum of Care funds are critical in ensuring we have a system of providers that is coordinated and integrated with the City. The funds will help to create permanent housing, employment, and stabilization opportunities for people who would otherwise languish on the streets and in a shelter for years," said Karen LaFrazia, President and CEO of St. Francis House. "At St. Francis House these funds will enable us to create pathways to permanent housing, provide employment and income maximization services. We thank Mayor Walsh and the City for continuing their work to secure these funds every year."
The City of Boston has made ending homelessness a priority. Since its implementation, Boston's Way Home has resulted in a complete redesign of the way Boston offers services to homeless individuals to offer wraparound services to those who require the additional level of care. By definition, chronically homeless individuals have barriers that create challenges to remaining housed. These barriers can include physical disabilities, substance use disorders, and mental health challenges, among others. As part of Boston's plan, the City is committed to a "Housing First" approach to homelessness, which is based on the belief that everyone should have access to permanent housing regardless of their conditions or circumstances. To date, Boston has ended chronic veteran homelessness and has housed over 2,400 chronically homeless individuals and veterans.
"The Continuum of Care funds are a vital resource for what we do," said Larry Seamans, President of FamilyAid Boston. "The funds will allow us to provide solutions to family homelessness in Greater Boston. The City is our partner in this journey to end homelessness and we applaud their continued work to increase funding for these crucial programs. This year's award will allow FamilyAid to further our goal of empowering parents and caregivers facing homelessness in their work to secure and sustain housing thus building strong foundations for their children’s futures."
In January, Mayor Walsh led a small, socially-distanced group of volunteers, including City and State officials, homeless services providers, and public health and safety first responders, in conducting the City of Boston’s 41st annual unsheltered homeless street count. The street count is part of the City’s comprehensive census of homeless adults, youth and families in emergency shelters, transitional housing, and domestic violence programs, and individuals staying outside in Boston each year.About the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND)
The Department of Neighborhood Development is responsible for housing people experiencing homelessness, developing affordable housing, and ensuring that renters and homeowners can find, maintain, and stay in their homes. As part of the ongoing coronavirus response, the Office of Housing Stability is also conducting tenant’s rights workshops to educate residents about the eviction moratorium and their rights. The Boston Home Center continues to provide down payment assistance to first-time home buyers and home repairs for seniors and low-income residents. The Supportive Housing Division works with various partners around the city to rapidly house individuals who are experiencing homelessness. For more information, please visit the DND website.