King County, Seattle receive $22 million in federal homeless assistance grants

Federal homeless assistance funds totaling more than $22.7 million have been awarded to the city of Seattle and King County for 2014-2015, making it possible to continue a range of housing and supportive services for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced the renewal grants Tuesday following the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announcement of nearly $1.6 billion awarded nationwide.

“Those who are homeless want to get back on their feet and contribute to society, but that’s difficult to do if they don’t have safe, reliable shelter,” said Constantine, co-chair of the Committee to End Homelessness Governing Board. “Renewing this grant will not only provide short-term relief to some of the most vulnerable men, women, and children in our communities – it will also help us address the underlying causes of homelessness.”

The $22.7 million award supports 70 community-based projects for a total of 2,024 units of housing: 727 units of transitional housing and 1,297 units of permanent housing for homeless people with disabilities. The total includes funding for two Safe Haven facilities that offer supportive housing for homeless adults with severe mental illness. Also renewed is funding for the Safe Harbors Homeless Management Information System, which collects data on services provided to homeless people in programs throughout King County.

"These grants are absolutely core to our efforts to prevent and end homelessness in King County,” said Mark Putnam, director of the Committee to End Homelessness. "The support from the Federal government will support our progress, and we must continue to learn and innovate to make homelessness rare here in King County."

This award is the first part of a two-part announcement process. An announcement in summer 2014 is expected from HUD for any remaining funding, including possible new project awards.

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