The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced final awards amounts from its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Continuum of Care (CoC) program funding competition and The Way Home CoC received a total award of $38,155,969. This is the largest funding amount awarded to the Houston region by HUD, and demonstrates the federal government’s confidence in the work underway to solve homelessness in our community!
This award includes funding renewals for 43 homeless services programs as well as funding for new projects including expansion money for The Way Home’s Coordinated Access program. Coordinated Access is the system-wide program that moves people from homelessness to housing by ensuring that everyone receives the same intake assessment for housing and income no matter where they access services in Houston, Harris County, Fort Bend County, and Montgomery County. Coordinated Access also manages referrals to housing and income programs and provides housing navigators to help people experiencing homelessness complete all the steps necessary to enter a housing program.
This funding also included new dollars for several Domestic Violence housing programs and a Domestic Violence-specific Coordinated Access program. Domestic Violence survivors often find themselves facing a housing crisis, but for safety reasons have not been able to access The Way Home’s housing programs, due to privacy and confidentiality concerns. This new Domestic Violence Coordinated Access program will allow survivors to receive housing through The Way Home while maintaining their confidentiality and protecting their safety.
The Way Home CoC had initially applied for $37,007,152 but was awarded the more than $38 million to include increases in market rental rates, as well as the new funding. While the 2018 Homeless Count showed that 4,143 people experience homelessness in our region at any point in time, we know that tens of thousands of people access some type of homelessness or related service over the course of a year. In fact, the Coalition for the Homeless’ Research team projects that 54,000 people will access services in 2019 – anything from emergency shelter or contact with street outreach teams to employment or food pantry assistance.
This federal assistance combined with local philanthropic support and the monetary, in-kind, and volunteer assistance from the local community are sure to allow The Way Home to continue to lead the nation on solving homelessness.