HUD Awards $1 Million to Help Provide Permanent Housing for Persons Experiencing Chronic Homelessness in Contra Costa County
Contra Costa one of 11 communities receiving grants through new pilot program
Department of Housing and Urban Development - Alphonso Jackson, Secretary
Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20410
For Release: Thursday, August 18 2005
CONCORD, CA - Approximately 40 persons living for long periods of time on the streets of Contra Costa County will find an open door to permanent recovery because of $1 million in funding announced today by Housing and Urban Development Regional Director Richard K. Rainey. The funding is part of $10 million HUD is providing to a dozen pilot programs in 11 communities around the country through a new program called Housing for People Who Are Homeless and Addicted To Alcohol, a special initiative designed to assist homeless persons who also struggle with chronic alcoholism.
"This investment will help prevent chronically homeless individuals from experiencing the continuous cycle of incarceration, emergency room visits, and short-term shelter habitation," said Rainey. "This program demonstrates HUD's compassionate commitment to our nation's most vulnerable citizens and represents an important step toward achieving President Bush's goal of ending chronic homelessness in America."
Rainey joined with Contra Costa County Housing Services Homeless Coordinator Cynthia Belon and Wendel Brunner, MD Public Health Director, during a Concord news conference. The funding announced today will provide two years of housing support to a new program designed by the Contra Costa Health Services and will be called Project Coming Home AAA.
Cynthia Belon, Homeless Director for Contra Costa County Health Services, said, "Today, we take another step toward ending chronic homelessness for our hardest-to-house, hardest-to-serve neighbors. One by one, we will offer a new life for those whose only life has been a life on the streets. I know that people can improve their life if they want to and if they have a little help."
With the assistance HUD offers, Project Coming Home will provide permanent housing to 40 individuals living within Contra Costa County as well as treatment and services.
HUD and the Interagency Council on Homelessness worked closely to design this new demonstration program that targets individuals living on the streets for at least 365 days over the last five years and who also have a long-term addiction to alcohol. This initiative is supported by research that suggests as many as 150,000 persons experiencing chronic homelessness also often suffer from addiction to alcohol and tend to have the highest utilization of public facilities and services.
The following communities are receiving grants under HUD's new Housing for People Who Are Homeless and Addicted To Alcohol program (see attached list):
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting persons who are homeless, the elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.