(KCPW News) U.S. Housing and Urban Development announced today it would renew funding for homeless programs across the nation, including more than $5 million for fifty programs in Utah. The funding is intended to keep them operating through 2012 as part of the Obama administrations efforts to prevent and end homelessness. Zach Bale of Volunteers of America, which received about $480,000 from HUD, says it will literally keep the doors of four VOA programs open for another year. He says Federal dollars are the most reliable source of funding for such programs.
“Individual giving tends to be pretty consistent but it’s certainly in much smaller chunks of money.” He says. “In the realm of private foundations, it really varies. There are foundations that very much are excited about being kind of an ongoing funder and then there are many that don’t want to get into that position. So they will fund, say every 18 months. It’s not a source that you can rely on year after year.”
The money will fund the Homeless Youth Resource Drop-In Center, the Homeless Outreach Program, the Chronic Homeless Substance Abuser Project, and Center for Women and Children. Bale says these programs are necessary for a healthy society.
“What we envision as a community from our agency is that all individuals have safety, stability and a place to be empowered and really sources like funding from Housing and Urban Development provide that.” He says. “They are the backbone of the majority of the programs that serve individuals that don’t have anywhere else to go.”
Specifically, Bale says the funding keeps staff employed at these centers and pays for supplies needed for outreach.