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      Virginia homeless programs get $9.5 million boost

      (WJLA) - With just more than a month left in his term as Virginia's chief executive, Gov. Bob McDonnell is making a major move toward battling homelessness in the Commonwealth.

      The governor announced Friday that the state will commit $9.5 million toward a number of programs that help the homeless. The commitment includes

      -$8 million toward the Virginia Housing Trust Fund for providing low-interest loans and grants through various organizations
      -$1 million toward the Rapid Re-Housing Program to assist households experiencing homelessness to obtain permanent housing as quickly as possible
      -additional funding to support the development of a statewide data collection application to better track homelessness statewide

      McDonnell's offices says that previous efforts have decreased homelessness throughout Virginia by 16 percent since 2010, the year McDonnell took office.

      "There is much more to be done to ensure that every Virginian has a place to call home and access to the tools they need to get back on their feet and become thriving members of their communities," McDonnell said in a statement.