More Than $38 Million to Support Nonprofits Providing Services to Individuals Experiencing Homelessness
Mayor Michelle Wu announced 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 15 nonprofit organizations that provide critical services and support to Boston’s unsheltered residents. The funds will support the work of the nonprofits and advance Mayor Wu’s goals to end homelessness in the city. 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 Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH) has applied for and been awarded every year. Over the last seven years, MOH has grown the funding the city receives from this grant by more than 70 percent, from $22.6 million in 2015 to $38 million this year, as a result of their competitive application, and ability to deliver results together with partner agencies.
“Safe, stable housing is critical for ensuring that Boston residents can live and thrive in our City,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “As we work to ensure an equitable recovery from the pandemic, these Continuum of Care Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will help us continue our work of ensuring every unhoused resident has access to critical services and housing. I want to thank the entire Massachusetts Congressional delegation and HUD for their continued support as we work together to end homelessness in our City.”
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 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 support they need to succeed.
Organizations receiving funding include:
- Bay Cove Human Services
- Bridge Over Troubled Waters
- Casa Myrna
- Stone House
- FamilyAid Boston
- Heading Home
- Justice Resource Institute
- Kit Clark Senior Services
- 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
The HUD award is part of more than $104 million in funding awarded to 212 Massachusetts homeless assistance programs. This funding is a portion of the $2.6 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.
“Access to stable housing is a basic necessity – the safety of a home is essential, especially as we continue to fight the COVID-19 virus,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “These Continuum of Care program grants, coupled with the historic resources in the American Rescue Plan, will deliver communities the resources needed to ensure that every person in a respective community has the equitable opportunity to a safe and stable home.”
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.
The Continuum of Care Grants are a vital resource for our organization as we provide services to families in need in Boston,” said Larry Seamans, President of FamilyAid. This money helps us empower parents and caregivers facing homelessness to secure and sustain housing and build strong foundations for their children’s futures. We want to thank the City of Boston and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for their continued support as we work to make family homelessness a thing of the past.”
Mayor Wu has made ending homelessness a priority. Boston offers services to homeless individuals by offering 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 6,564 chronically homeless individuals and veterans.
“Continuum of Care grants are critical to ensuring we have a system that is coordinated and integrated with the City of Boston and our partners. These funds will help to create permanent housing, employment, and stabilization opportunities for people and families who are in need of housing stability," said Chris Norris Executive Director of Metro Housing|Boston. “We want to thank Mayor Wu and the City of Boston for their work to secure these funds from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development. We look forward to putting this money to work as we create pathways to permanent housing, provide employment and income maximization services.”
In February, Mayor Wu led a 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 42nd 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 Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH)
The Mayor’s Office of Housing is responsible for housing people experiencing homelessness, creating and preserving affordable housing, and ensuring that renters and homeowners can obtain, maintain, and remain in safe, stable housing. The department develops and implements the City of Boston’s housing creation and homelessness prevention plans and collaborates with local and national partners to find new solutions and build more housing affordable to all, particularly those with lower incomes. For more information, please visit the MOH website