Allegheny County has an additional $13 million to spend on trying to combat homelessness in the region. The funds come from a U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Continuum of Care grant.
The county can use the funds to support housing and service programs including safe havens, transitional housing and permanent housing for persons with disabilities. Most of the money will be used to continue programs already being offered by the county, said Allegheny County Homeless Programs Administrator Chuck Keenan.
In all, nearly 70 programs will be created or extended by the grant, which will touch 58 different nonprofit agencies in the county.
The award is actually $158,000 more than the county requested in its competitive grant application, however Keenan said the county is asking for another HUD grant to support 10 additional programs.
“We are seeing a growing family homeless population, so we are trying to keep children off the street,” he said.
Keenan said the goal is to give that last bit of help needed to keep families that are struggling with finances in their homes.
“They are doubling up with friends and family," he said. "They are living in places they probably should not be living.”