A Grant to End Youth Homelessness
HUD will provide $5.2 million to the city
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded Austin/Travis County a $5.2 million grant to help end youth homelessness. Mayor Steve Adler made the announcement at a press conference on Friday, Jan. 13. He called the grant significant, both for its size and as a symbolic "recognition of what we're doing in this community." The news follows two successful citywide campaigns – one to combat homelessness among Austin veterans, the other to house 50 homeless youth in 100 days. Approximately 758 Austin/Travis County youth experienced homelessness from January to October 2016, according to the grant application, co-authored by Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) and LifeWorks. ECHO was named lead grantee for the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) grant, as the lead agency for the county's Continuum of Care.
Over the next few months, ECHO and LifeWorks will join with additional community organizations – as well as Adler and Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo (who will chair ECHO's Membership Council) to draft a community plan to "prevent and end youth homelessness," said Niki Paul, ECHO's director of operations. A youth advisory council, consisting of youth who've experienced homelessness, will aid the program's development. HUD will need to approve any plan before funds are distributed. Austin is one of 10 communities receiving a YHDP HUD grant, which aims to eradicate youth homeless by 2020.