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$14.7M to help end homelessness here

Posted: 9:52 AM, Mar 09, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-10 02:04:50Z
$14.7M to help end homelessness here
$14.7M to help end homelessness here

CINCINNATI — The federal government has awarded more than $14.7 million to a local agency working to eliminate homelessness in Hamilton County.

Strategies to End Homelessness CEO Kevin Finn said the bulk of the money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would be distributed to local nonprofit organizations that provide housing to people who have been homeless. Different funding is used for the region's homeless shelters.

"A lot of our shelter providers actually run housing programs as well that they use to exit people from their shelters into housing," Finn said.

Related: Making sure Hamilton County's homeless people count

The money also will be used to help fund a new approach called "coordinated entry" that homelessness service providers just started using in February, Finn said.

Coordinated entry is designed to ensure that the most vulnerable people are offered housing first.

"It prioritizes homeless people across the entire system to make sure that the people who are offered housing first are the people who have been homeless the longest, are the chronically homeless or the most severely disabled," Finn said.

"We're able to make sure that not only do we still have all these housing resources, but these resources are being targeted toward the people who need them most."

The funding comes through HUD's "Continuum of Care for the Homeless" program. Strategies to End Homelessness oversees the Cincinnati/Hamilton County Continuum of Care.

"A safe, stable home is the foundation for opportunity in all of our lives," HUD Secretary Julián Castro said in a news release. "That's why we're continuing to challenge communities to deploy proven strategies to help people experiencing homelessness find a place to call home."

The money will go to more than 15 other nonprofit organizations. They include:

Bethany House Services

The Center for Independent Living Options

Caracole, Inc.

Cincinnati Union Bethel

• Excel Development

Freestore Foodbank

Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services

Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati

Lighthouse Youth Services

Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries

Over-the-Rhine Community Housing

Shelterhouse (formerly known as the Drop Inn Center)

Talbert House

Tender Mercies

The Salvation Army

The YWCA of Greater Cincinnati

Strategies to End Homelessness could win an additional $4.8 million in the second round of funding through HUD's Continuum of Care program. Federal officials will announce that funding later this spring.

Lucy May writes about the people, places and issues that define our region – to celebrate what makes the Tri-State great and also shine a spotlight on issues we need to address. Childhood poverty is an important focus for her and for WCPO.

To read more stories by Lucy, go to www.wcpo.com/may . To reach her, email lucy.may@wcpo.com . Follow her on Twitter @LucyMayCincy.