The federal government awarded grants to combat homelessness yesterday, with Los Angeles and Orange counties set to receive more than $145 million.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said the $2 billion-plus in grants it was giving to in excess of 7,300 local homeless assistance programs across the nation was a record high number for the agency.
Los Angeles County—which has the nation's second-highest number of homeless people of any region at more than 55,000—will receive about $122 million.
Almost 109.4 million dollars was granted to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which manages homeless services and programs in the county except for in Long Beach, Pasadena and Glendale. Long Beach will receive about $8.19 million, Pasadena just over $3.25 million and Glendale slightly above $2.41 million.
The Santa Ana, Anaheim/Orange County Continuum of Care will receive just under $23.5 million. California received the largest share of any state, with nearly $382.6 million for 900 programs. New York received the second most at more than $200 million.
“HUD stands with our local partners who are working each and everyday to house and serve our most vulnerable neighbors,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. “We know how to end homelessness and it starts with embracing a housing-first approach that relies upon proven strategies that offer permanent housing solutions to those who may otherwise be living in our shelters and on our streets.”
Los Angeles County's 55,188 number of homeless people in 2017 was behind only New York City's 76,501, according to the 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress by HUD.
Homelessness also inched up about 1 percent across the nation, according to HUD, which found that on a given night across the country in 2017, an estimated 553,742 people were homeless, with almost two-thirds housed in shelters or transitional housing programs and one-third living on the streets.
The hike was driven in a large part by the increase in Los Angeles County.
The HUD findings were similar to the results of the 2017 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count released in June by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which put the county's homeless total at 57,794—an increase of 23 percent over the previous count.
Orange County's number of homeless also rose to 4,792 in 2017, up from 4,452 in 2015, according to the 2017 Point-in-Time Count & Survey.
“Continuums of Care are critical leaders in the work to end homelessness nationwide. When communities marshal these—and other local, state, private, and philanthropic resources—behind the strongest housing-first practices, we see important progress in our collective goal to end homelessness in America,” said Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.