$48.3M awarded to homeless services programs in Maryland

More than 200 Maryland homeless service programs have been awarded $48.3M in federal grants.

More than 200 homeless housing and service programs in Maryland will receive $48.3 million in federal grants this year, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro announced Monday.

The awards are part of $202 million in grants competitively awarded to organizations throughout the Mid-Atlantic and $1.8 billion nationwide, HUD said.

About 45 percent of the federal funding, roughly $21.8 million, will go to 32 programs in Baltimore, such as Dayspring, HOPE, House of Ruth, St. Ambrose, Project PLEASE and the Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training.

Sixteen organizations in Baltimore County will get $2.6 million and 15 in Anne Arundel will receive $2.4 million. Howard County homelessness advocates will receive more than $913,000. In Harford County, 16 programs will get more than $808,000.

The programs selected "offer a variety of services to those who are experiencing homelessness, including street outreach, client assessment, and direct housing assistance," the agency said in a release.

HUD, entering its 50th year, said the money will help local homeless services providers to continue offering permanent and transitional housing, job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care.

"It's a national shame that anyone would call the streets their home," Castro said in a statement. "Working with our local partners, we're redoubling our efforts to support permanent housing solutions for our veterans and those experiencing long-term chronic homelessness. We're also focused on providing targeted assistance to families and young people who are falling between the cracks. As a nation, we can and must end homelessness."

Elsewhere in Maryland, 22 organizations in Prince George's County will receive more than $5 million, 16 in Montgomery County were awarded $7.5 million, and eight in Allegany County are to receive more than $809,000.

The agency counted 578,424 homeless people across America on a single night in 2014. In the past five years, the U.S. has reported an overall 10 percent decline in people experiencing homelessness and a 25 percent drop in those living on the streets, the agency said. The state and local counts, which are compiled into the overall number, reflect a drop of roughly one-third in homelessness among veterans, HUD said.

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