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HUD Will Release $25 Million to Help Cities Aid the Homeless

From Associated Press

The federal government is offering $25 million as a catalyst to help cities move ahead with initiatives to house the homeless this winter.

The money will go to “innovative programs which will be available on a nationwide basis to provide services . . . to get us through the next few months,” Assistant Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference Friday.

The money, to be released in the next several weeks, is part of $100 million in special homeless assistance approved by Congress earlier this year, he said.

Friday’s announcement comes after the discovery Monday of the body of a homeless woman across from Department of Housing and Urban Development headquarters.

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HUD Secretary Henry G. Cisneros called the death of 43-year-old Yetta M. Adams an event that should shock Americans and policy-makers to do more to end homelessness nationwide.

Cuomo, assistant secretary for community planning and development, said Cisneros decided to release the money after meeting with leaders of the district government and homeless advocates.

Cuomo said he and other HUD officials would immediately begin meeting with local governments, homeless advocates and shelter operators to determine what kind of help is needed. Cities will then be eligible to apply for the federal money, although he said HUD expects the cities and private agencies to kick in funds.

He also announced that HUD would advance the District of Columbia about $250,000 in the next few weeks for shelter, vans and equipment to assist the homeless.

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That money will come from a separate $20-million pilot program announced in September, he said. The first installment had been slated to go to the city only after the local government had created a new agency to oversee it. However, Cuomo said creating such an agency could take months and HUD decided it was necessary to do something more quickly.


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