(Photo by Flickr user Tony Juliano, used under a Creative Commons license)
The Office of Supportive Housing (OSH) just got a big boost from the federal government.
First, OSH landed $28 million (almost $668,000 more than was requested) in the first tier of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Continuum of Care (CoC) program, one leg of President Barack Obama‘s ambitious fight to end homelessness altogether across the country.
According to Alicia Taylor, communications director for the city’s health and human services cabinet, that $28 million will be split between 86 homeless housing programs that operate 2,242 transitional and permanent housing units. Each of those units will receive $12,501.
Second, HUD also awarded OSH $931,805 to be directed toward staffing, developing a new strategic plan around homelessness and the launch of a homeless youth Point in Time Count.
“We want to make homelessness in Philadelphia rare, brief and non-recurring,” said OSH Executive Director Liz Hersh, who just stepped into her role at the department this month after nearly 15 years with the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania. “This kind of support for proven housing programs is key to moving us toward this goal.”
According to Hersh, the new funds are the “result of successful partnerships” between OSH, the CoC team and nonprofit providers across the city.
Despite former Mayor Michael Nutter‘s grandiose claim that his administration functionally ended veteran homelessness at the bitter end of his last term, it doesn’t take an academic to realize Philly’s general homelessness problem is still very much alive and well — 15,040 people were experiencing homelessness just last year.-30-
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