THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCES NEARLY $300 MILLION TO
TACKLE HOMELESSNESS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
President Clinton today awarded nearly $300 million in grants to tackle homelessness in communities across America. Winning projects - the majority of which will employ Americorps members - ranged from outreach efforts to homeless on our streets, to a full range of youth and adult services, job training and the construction of permanent housing. The funds were competitively awarded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Supportive Housing Program, a flexible program which enables communities to tailor funds for activities designed to meet their distinct homeless needs. They come at an important time as cold weather makes life on the streets more dangerous for the homeless.
"It is imperative that we not turn our backs on the nation's homeless. The number of homeless families and young people suffering from abuse and neglect continues to rise. It is my hope that these grants will help those who need our help the most," President Clinton said.
"I am also pleased that Americorps members will be engaged in the struggle to end homelessness. This is an example of National Service at its best," the President added.
Secretary Cisneros will be in Minnesota today to talk about the grant program and visit two local winning projects.
"These Supportive Housing grants encourage cities to move from reactive, emergency homeless assistance to a more competitive 'continuum of care' approach to the disturbing national problem of homelessness," said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros. "Helping to end homelessness is our number one priority at HUD. For homeless men, women and children living on the street, the awards we are making today will mean a chance for a more stable way of life."
Added HUD Assistant Secretary Andrew Cuomo, the Administration's point person on homelessness: "We can be judged by how we treat the most unfortunate among us. It is important that we not forget that there are real people with real needs for whom these programs are truly a matter of life or death."
Early on, the Clinton Administration made clear its commitment to homelessness by increasing the 1994 Federal Homeless Budget by 40 percent. Today's grants represent the last installment of those funds. A commitment for more funding and more local flexibility will continue with a doubling of HUD's homeless budget in 1995 and an ongoing effort to enhance our homeless programs to move more decision making out of Washington and into communities who know their needs best.
A total of $298.2 million in grants were awarded for 271 projects in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
The Clinton Administration believes government must work together across agency lines in order to tackle the problem of homelessness. This year, HUD joined forces with Americorps, the Administration's National Service initiative by giving special recognition to applicants who crafted ways to involve Americorps volunteers in their programs. As a result, more than half of this year's winners plan to hire Americorps volunteers of all ages to help in the fight to end homelessness.
A complete state-by-state list of grant winners is attached.