HUD granted Philadelphia $8.78 million in federal money to develop programs to end youth homelessness

On Monday, Philadelphia received nearly $9 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop programs focused on ending youth homelessness.

According to a press release, Philadelphia plans to use the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) funding to support housing opportunities, including transitional homes and permanent supportive housing for young adults ages 18-24.

Philadelphia’s $8,779,924 award, the largest among individual cities, was the second most total behind the State of Georgia ($11,699,223).

The application for the grant was completed with the help of young adults who have experienced homelessness. An advisory board will be set up over the next few months to work directly with the Office of Homeless Services to help fund services for those in need, including access to employment opportunities, financial literacy classes, and, most importantly, access to long-term housing options.

“The YDHP is awarded to communities with a strong record of performance and creativity. We need to be forward-thinking about how we serve the unique special needs of youth experiencing homelessness by designing programs that meet the needs of youth experiencing homelessness by designing programs that meet their needs and are accessible to them where they are,” said HUD Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Matthew J. Heckles.

According to city records, in the fiscal year 2021, Philadelphia serviced at least 1,700 young adults through its homeless service programming.

“Addressing this issue requires collaboration at all levels, from HUD and city officials to nonprofit leaders and community members,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “This new funding represents a critical step forward in continuing to make progress in Philadelphia.”

HUD awarded 17 communities across the country $84 million through the YHDP to help support the development of programs to prevent and end homelessness. 

“Placing young people experiencing homelessness into permanent housing can change the trajectory of their lives,” said HUD secretary Marcia L. Fudge.” With this funding, HUD is targeting federal resources to meet local needs and support community-driven efforts to end youth homelessness and improve outcomes through stable housing and services.”

In February, a nonprofit, Project HOME, received $3.5 million to expand programming geared toward ending homelessness from Pew Charitable Trusts. The money went towards an additional 150 supportive housing units and helping those dealing with substance use disorders.

In March, Philadelphia was awarded $36 million from HUD to help those experiencing homelessness. The funding renewed over 2,000 transitional housing units in the city and added new housing units for young adults 18-24 who needed rapid housing and support. The money also helped the development of the New Day Home program, which provided safe spaces for survivors of human trafficking. 

Philadelphia has worked tirelessly to address homelessness in the city. As a result, over the past five years, there has been a 22% reduction in homelessness. Also, family homelessness has been reduced by 42%, according to data provided to the HUD during the application for the YHDP grant.

“This grant recognizes the unique needs of youth homelessness. These are the kinds of investments we need to break intergenerational poverty and ensure we don’t leave young adults behind,” said OHS Director Liz Hersh.

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