PHILADELPHIA, Pa. | The Office of Homeless Services (OHS) announced that the City of Philadelphia has been awarded $36,381,810 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
This grant supports 2,651 new and existing homeless housing units, as well as supportive services to help make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring in the city, officials said.
The funds will reportedly go toward the annual renewal of 2,139 units of Supportive Housing for people who were formerly homeless. With a 90% success rate, Supportive Housing is an evidence-based approach that prevents a return to homelessness.
The grant will support 294 Rapid Re-Housing units, including 16 new units, as well as the renewal of 218 Transitional Housing and Safe Haven units, officials say. Transitional Housing and Safe Havens serve a diverse population that includes youth aged 18 to 24, and parenting youth.
OHS announced that $578,638 of the federal money will support a new, combined Transitional-Rapid Re-Housing program called the “New Day New Home,” operated by The Salvation Army for survivors of human trafficking.
“This funding from Washington, DC is critically important to keeping people who have been homeless stably housed. This award is another example of our community coming together to improve opportunities for people experiencing homelessness. Homeless services are, by definition – and deliberately – antiracist,” said OHS Director Liz Hersh. “People who are housed have the basic necessary foundation for health, education, wealth, employment, family, and community. They help reverse the predictive power of race in our community.”
“OHS is deeply grateful for the incredible tenacity our providers have shown during the pandemic, to keep providing much-needed services to our vulnerable neighbors. We hope to now move into recovery,” Hersh added.
OHS and its network of nonprofit providers say they moved quickly to implement COVID-19 guidelines and keep some of the most vulnerable Philadelphians safe during the pandemic.
The system succeeded in providing emergency housing to over 19,000 people and distributing more than 3.7 million meals in shelter, all while keeping a COVID-19 infection rate below five percent in those settings.
The renewed funds are critical to programs maintaining and expanding housing opportunities for those who have been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19.