HUD awards $5.2M toward programs in Detroit for youth homelessness

Noelle Gray
The Detroit News

Detroit — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded nearly $5.2 million toward programming to combat youth homelessness in Detroit.

HUD on Thursday said the funding for efforts in Detroit is part of $142 million that the department is allocating under its Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program to support rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, traditional housing and host homes in 33 communities. 

FILE - Tasha Gray, pictured here, said the organization applied for the funding twice before and is "ecstatic" to finally receive.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated nearly every crisis in our society, including the crisis of youth homelessness,” HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said in a Thursday statement. “We have a responsibility in our nation to care for all our children and with this funding, HUD is taking steps to make sure that every child under our care has a safe place to call home.”

Tasha Gray, executive director of the Homeless Action Network of Detroit, or HAND, said the organization applied for the funding twice before and is "ecstatic" to finally receive. 

HAND, which administers HUD Continuum of Care programs, is awaiting details from HUD and hopes to begin a community planning process for how the funds will be spent later this month, Gray said.

"In general, we know that we need to build partnerships across systems (e.g. homeless, education, foster care, criminal justice) to better identify homeless youth and coordinate care and quality, safe, and stable housing," she told The Detroit News in an email Thursday. 

HUD said it assessed nearly 100 applications for funding consideration. Grant award recipients will use the funds for housing units, wrap-around services and housing support to address youth homelessness. 

The awardees will develop community plans with partner groups and agencies in the coming months to end youth homelessness and serve as national leaders on efforts to end homelessness among young people, HUD officials said.