Last week, Austin saw a barrage of encouraging news about its ongoing fight against homelessness. On Monday, January 9th, LifeWorks Austin and the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) announced they had exceeded their goal to find homes for 50 homeless youth in 100 days. Austin was one of three cities, along with Los Angeles and Cleveland, chosen to participate in the 100-day challenge organized by A Way Home America. Learn more about the challenge here.
The following Wednesday, it was announced Austin had won a grant worth up to $1.5 million over three years from a charity operated by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The grant is aimed at bolstering efforts to reduce homelessness in downtown Austin. With the funding, the City will hire four or five people to improve the city’s ability to collect, analyze and share date about its homeless population so services for those residents will improve. Find out more here.
Then, on Friday, January 13, came the biggest announcement. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had awarded Austin a $5.2 million grant to tackle youth homelessness. The new funding could potentially bring new housing options and an emergency shelter specifically for youths ages 18 to 24. Austin was selected from 130 applicants for the grant and was among 10 communities across the country to share $33 million allocated by the federal government to end youth homelessness by 2020. Learn more about the grant here.