Louisville, KY (May 9, 2016) – On Monday, the Louisville Continuum of Care (CoC) received notice of a total annual award of $9,060,310 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which will support many critical permanent housing projects in Louisville. Unfortunately, Louisville lost $1,185,867 in renewal funding this year, specifically transitional housing for families, people with HIV/AIDS, young adults, domestic violence victims, and to provide case management for homeless people sleeping in emergency shelters or on the streets.
“Our community is devastated by these cuts. Families fleeing domestic violence, young adults assisted to get off the streets, and many others now in transitional housing programs across our city will lose their housing, and others in the future will not receive this important assistance,” said Natalie Harris, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless. “Local service providers are working now with community leaders and private funders to piece together additional resources and funding to make these cuts as painless as possible for those they serve. And we need the community’s help.”
These funding cuts begin July 1. Affected organizations include the Center for Women and Families; Family Health Centers; Home of the Innocents; House of Ruth; Louisville Metro Community Services; New Directions Housing Corporation; St. Vincent de Paul; and Volunteers of America Mid-States. These organizations run projects that have been cut by as much as $260,000 in some cases.
A press release from HUD said that this year’s competition to award CoC grants was the most competitive ever, both locally and nationally.
This funding decision makes it clear that, moving forward, the federal government will not dedicate the resources needed to fund all homeless services projects nationally; instead, they will focus their limited resources on permanent housing (both supportive housing and rapid rehousing), rather than transitional housing or supportive services projects.
“While this is certainly a blow to our community, we are proud of the recent successes Louisville has had with reducing homelessness among veterans and overall,” said Natalie Harris. “These cuts do not reflect poorly on our community or the work we are doing. In fact, we are grateful for the hard work of our partner agencies and their staffs and volunteers, and with the help of our community, we must press forward with our work to end homelessness for Louisvillians.”
This announcement underscores the critical importance of finding local funding sources for our local programs to supplement limited federal funds. In light of this, the Coalition for the Homeless challenges every Louisvillian to consider volunteering at or donating even $5 to a local homeless services agency. A list of Coalition member agencies can be found at http://louhomeless.org/?page_id=1286. The Coalition also urges each Louisvillian to contact his/her congressional representatives about the importance of maintaining federal funding for homeless services.
The Coalition for the Homeless and partner agencies have worked toward a 23% drop in homelessness in Louisville over the past four years, in large part due to innovative and collaborative initiatives across the community. In 2015, the collaborative Rx: Housing Veterans initiative reached functional zero for veteran homelessness in Louisville. This year, the Coalition and partners plan to maintain an end to veteran homelessness while moving toward an end to chronic homelessness. Learn more at www.louhomeless.org or www.facebook.com/louhomeless.