HUD's Carson awards $2 billion to help homeless

FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2017, file photo, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson speaks at Vaux Big Picture High School in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

WASHINGTON (SBG) - The homeless crisis touches every part of America, from rural counties to the big metropolitan areas. In an effort to combat the problem, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is giving $2 billion to help people get back on their feet.

The federal grant money will go to 5,800 local programs across the country.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson says working with local partners is crucial to curbing homelessness since they are on the ground; establishing relationships with the homeless, providing case management services and helping find shelters.

“When we work with this organizations and we look at the effects that these organizations are having, in terms, of our dissemination of grant money we like evidence that what they are doing is actually working,” said Secretary Ben Carson in an interview with Sinclair’s Michelle Macaluso.

Every year, ten of thousands of volunteers conduct a “Point-in-Time count” to get a “snapshot” of how many homeless people are in that region.

HUD uses that count to gauge the needs and progress of the program its funding.

Last week, Secretary Carson came out to one in the nation’s capital at Union Station.

According to HUD’s 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, roughly a half a million people were homeless in the US on a single night, an increase by 0.3 percent from 2017.

Homelessness decreased in 31 states including here in Washington, D.C., but homelessness increased in 19 states.

“Places where the rates of homeless are going is affordability.

What affects affordability? A lot of it is impacted by zoning regulations and other types of regulatory restrictions and make a big difference,” said Carson.

Secretary Carson wants Americans to remember one thing.

“We all need to recognize that people anyone could be in very difficult situations, through things that are not our fault and that we need to just think in terms of what we can do to ameliorate the situation of our fellow citizens,” he said.

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