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President’s Budget Invests in Proven Solutions

February 14, 2012

President’s Budget Invests in Proven Solutions

Targeted Homeless Assistance Programs (Budget Authority in Millions of Dollars)

Building on the progress of Opening Doors, President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2013 (FY 2013) Budget Proposal includes a significant funding commitment to implement Opening Doors. This year’s Budget Proposal includes $4.7 billion for targeted homeless assistance funding, a 17% increase over the previously enacted Fiscal Year 2012 Budget.

“The President’s Budget reflects our commitment to funding what works,” said USICH Executive Director Barbara Poppe. “Together we have demonstrated that increased investment combined with strong collaboration and improved targeting leads to reductions in homelessness.”

The President’s FY 2013 Budget Proposal is the second budget developed by USICH member agencies since the release of Opening Doors and is a statement of the Administration’s commitment to preventing and ending homelessness as a national priority.

The 17% increase in targeted homeless assistance funding includes the following:

  • Increased strategic investments to implement the HEARTH Act. $330 million increase for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Homeless Assistance Grants, including $286 million for the second year of the revamped Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG).
  • Continued expansion of supportive housing for our nation’s Veterans through HUD-VASH. An additional 10,000 HUD-VASH vouchers combined with health care and supportive services to help Veterans exit homelessness.
  • Additional funding and focus on prevention and rapid re-housing.  $200M expansion of the Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Services for Veteran Families program—built on best practices developed across the country.
  • New investments through the Affordable Care Act to leverage mainstream programs including Medicaid. Additional 5% increase in Department of Health and Human Services targeted homeless assistance programs.

“By continuing to invest in our Homeless Assistance Grants ($2.2 billion) and HUD-VASH ($75 million), we move toward realizing the vision of Opening Doors to finish the job of ending chronic and Veterans homelessness inside of 5 years and set a path to ending family and youth homelessness within the decade,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

In the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the nation saw a drop in Veteran homelessness of nearly 12 percent and an overall 2.1 percent decline in homelessness among all populations.

This fact sheet serves as an overview of the targeted homeless assistance programs across the government.

Collaborative Initiative

HUD - Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program

The HUD Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program (HUD-VASH) combines Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance for Veterans experiencinghomelessness with case management and clinical services provided by VA. VA provides these services for participating Veterans at VA Medical Centers and community-based outreach clinics. To date, approximately 38,000 of these vouchers have been awarded to over 300 public housing agencies nationwide, with 10,000 vouchers yet to be awarded in fiscal year 2012. HUD is requesting an additional $75 million (10,000 vouchers) for HUD-VASH in 2013.

In FY 2013, VA will also provide $245 million in case management funding, a 21% increase over FY 2012.

Targeted Homeless Assistance Programs by Department

Department of Education

Education for Homeless Children and Youth

To ensure that all homeless children and youth experiencing homelessness have equal access to the same free, appropriate public education available to other children, the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program provides assistance to States to (1) establish or designate an Office of Coordinator of Education of Homeless Children and Youths; (2) develop and carry out a State plan for the education of homeless children; and (3) make sub-grants to local educational agencies to support the education of children experiencing homelessness.

  • FY 2010 - $65.4 million
  • FY 2011 - $65 million
  • FY 2012 - $65 million
  • FY 2013 (proposed) - $65 million
Department of Health and Human Services

Health Care for the Homeless

The purpose of the Health Care for the Homeless Program is to provide primary health care, substance abuse treatment, emergency care with referrals to hospitals for in-patient care services and/or other needed services, outreach services to assist difficult-to-reach people experiencing homelessness in accessing care, and assistance in establishing eligibility for entitlement programs and housing.   

  • FY 2010 - $171 million
  • FY 2011 - $215 million
  • FY 2012 - $231 million
  • FY 2013 (proposed) - $257 million

Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness

Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness is a formula grant program that provides financial assistance to states to support services for homeless individuals who have serious mental illness or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

  • FY 2010 - $65 million
  • FY 2011 - $65 million
  • FY 2012 - $65 million
  • FY 2013 (proposed) - $65 million

Grants for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals

The Grants for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals Program in SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment enables communities to expand and strengthen their treatment services for individuals experiencing homelessness with substance abuse disorders, mental illness, or co-occurring substance abuse disorders and mental illness. HHS can award grants of up to five years duration to community-based public or nonprofit entities to provide addiction and mental health services to individuals experiencing homelessness.

  • FY 2010 - $43 million
  • FY 2011 - $42 million
  • FY 2012 - $42 million
  • FY 2013 (proposed) - $42 million

Services in Supportive Housing Grants

The Services in Supportive Housing Program in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services was created to help prevent or reduce chronic homelessness by funding services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness while living with severe mental illness or co-occurring mental and substance disorders. The program addresses the need for treatment and support service provision to individuals and families.

  • FY 2010 - $32 million
  • FY 2011 - $33 million
  • FY 2012 - $33 million
  • FY 2013 (proposed) - $33 million

Runaway and Homeless Youth Act

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Program funds over 740 public, community and faith-based organizations through three grant programs that serve the runaway and homeless youth population:

Basic Center Program

The Basic Center Program establishes or strengthens locally controlled, community and faith-based programs that address the immediate needs of runaway and homeless youth and their families. Basic Centers provide youth with temporary emergency shelter, food, clothing and referrals for health care.  Other types of assistance provided to youth and their families may include individual, group, and family counseling, recreation programs, and aftercare services for youth once they leave the shelter.  Grants can also be used for outreach activities targeting youth who may need assistance.

Transitional Living Program

The Transitional Living Program provides shelter, skills training and support services to homeless youth between the ages of 16 and 22 for a continuous period generally not exceeding 540 days, or in exceptional circumstances 635 days. Youth are provided with stable, safe living accommodations and services that help them develop the skills necessary to move to independence.  Living accommodations may be host family homes, group homes or supervised apartments.

Street Outreach Program

The Street Outreach Program provides educational and prevention services to runaway and street youth who have been subject to, or are at risk of, sexual exploitation or abuse.  The program works to establish and build relationships between street youth and program outreach staff in order to help youth leave the streets. 

  • FY 2010 - $115.6 million
  • FY 2011 - $115 million
  • FY 2012 - $115 million
  • FY 2013 (proposed) - $115 million
Department of Homeland Security

Emergency Food and Shelter Program

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program helps meet the needs of people experiencing hunger or homelessness throughout the United States and its territories by allocating funds for the provision of food and shelter. The program is governed by a National Board, chaired by FEMA, and comprised of representatives from American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, Jewish Federations of North America, Salvation Army, and United Way Worldwide. 

  • FY 2010 - $200 million
  • FY 2011 - $120 million
  • FY 2012 - $120 million
  • FY 2013 (proposed) - $100 million
Department of Housing and Urban Development

In 2013, HUD requests $2.231 billion to support programs designed to prevent and end homelessness. This represents an increase of $330 million over the FY 12 enacted amount, which will fund the increased competitive renewal demand in 2013 in addition to the funding necessary to meet the new HEARTH requirements and to continue implementation of Opening Doors.

However, this request does not fully fund HEARTH as authorized, which HUD estimates would cost nearly $4.4 billion (including meeting the new 30 percent permanent supportive housing requirement). The Administration proposes a budget that funds each of the priority areas identified in HEARTH, but the Emergency Solutions Grant and Rural Housing Stability programs are not funded at the fully authorized levels.

The requested funds can be categorized via the HEARTH Act authorized programs and eligible activities as follows:

Emergency Solutions Grants: $286 million

The Emergency Solutions Grant Program (ESG), implemented for the first time in FY 2011, includes funds for a variety of life-saving activities in addition to newer interventions like rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention that have proven to be successful in many communities at preventing and ending homelessness. Fiscal year 2013 is the first time since 2009 that communities do not have the resources that were made available to them as part of the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP), and ESG will be an essential component of continuing the program infrastructure that was started via HPRP. Without ESG funds, many communities will end rapid re-housing or homelessness prevention projects that had positive outcomes. In fact, ESG requires grantees to use at least 40 percent of their funds on these activities so that these new and successful programs can continue.

Continuum of Care Program: $1.94 billion

  • Renewal of existing projects: $1.91 billion
  • New permanent supportive housing and CoC planning: $22 million
  • Homeless Management Information System: $8 million

The Continuum of Care Program (CoC) is HUD’s largest and broadest targeted program to serve individuals and families experiencing homelessness. It also provides the infrastructure for the implementation of a comprehensive planning approach, data collection and analysis, and performance measurement. CoCs have the dual role of planning and operating programs, and using data collected through Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS) to inform planning decisions and track performance at both the project and systems levels. Eligible activities include CoC planning; acquisition, rehabilitation, and new construction for capital projects; leasing; rental assistance; housing operations; HMIS; supportive services; and administration.

  • FY 2010 - $1.865 billion
  • FY 2011 - $1.901 billion
  • FY 2012 - $1.901 billion
  • FY 2013 (proposed) - $2.231 billion

For more information about HUD's Budget request see:

Department of Justice

Transitional Housing Assistance Grants for the Victims of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence or Stalking Program

The Transitional Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking Program focuses on a holistic, victim-centered approach to providing transitional housing services that move individuals into permanent housing. These grants support programs that provide assistance to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking who are in need of transitional housing, short-term housing assistance, and related support services. Transitional housing programs may offer individualized services such as counseling, support groups, safety planning, and advocacy services as well as practical services such as licensed child care, employment services, transportation vouchers, telephones, and referrals to other agencies.

  • FY 2010 - $18 million
  • FY 2011 - $18 million
  • FY 2012 - $25 million
  • FY 2013 (proposed) - $22 million
Department of Labor

Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program

The Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program provides services to help Veterans experiencing homelessness obtain meaningful employment and to stimulate the development of effective service delivery systems to address the complex problems facing Veterans experiencing homelessness. It is the only nationwide program exclusively focused on helping Veterans experiencing homelessness reintegrate into the workforce. Funds are awarded through competitive grants. The program also includes funds specifically for grantees providing specialized services to female Veterans experiencing homelessness and Veterans with families experiencing homelessness. This specialized funding was initiated in FY 2010 in recognition of the special needs of these subgroups.

  • FY 2010 - $36.3 million
  • FY 2011 - $36 million
  • FY 2012 - $38 million
  • FY 2013 (proposed) - $38 million
Department of Veterans Affairs

The proposed VA budget for FY 2013 contains nearly $1.4 billion for programs that prevent or end homelessness among Veterans. This is an increase of 33 percent, or $333 million, over the 2012 level, continuing VA’s steady progress toward ending Veteran homelessness by 2015. 

In the past year, the number of Veterans experiencing homelessness on a given night has declined from 76,300 in 2010 to about 67,500 in 2011.  By emphasizing rescue and prevention, the budget request envisions driving down the numbers to 35,000 by the end of fiscal year 2013.  Some specific efforts funded in the new budget are the following:

$21 million to provide 200 coordinators who will help Veterans experiencing homelessness with disability claims, housing problems, job and vocational opportunities, and problems with the courts;

Provide grants and per diem payments to community-based organizations offering transitional housing to 32,000 homeless Veterans.

Supportive Services for Veteran Families

Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) provides supportive services to very low-income Veteran families in or transitioning to permanent housing.  Funds are provided through grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that will assist very low-income Veterans’ families by providing a range of supportive services designed to promote housing stability.  Through the SSVF Program, VA aims to rapidly re-house Veterans’ families who become homeless thereby improving housing stability for very low-income Veterans’ families.

  • FY 2010 – $20 million
  • FY 2011 -  $61 million
  • FY 2012 - $100 million
  • FY 2013 (proposed) - $300 million

Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program

VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program funds community agencies providing services to Veterans experiencing homelessness. The purpose is to promote the development and provision of supportive housing and/or supportive services with the goal of helping homeless Veterans achieve residential stability, increase their skill levels and/or income, and obtain greater self-determination.

  • FY 2010 - $175.3 million
  • FY 2011  - $172 million       
  • FY 2012  - $224 million
  • FY 2013 (proposed) - $235 million

The Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans Program
The Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans Program provides 24-hours-per-day, 7 days-per-week structured and supportive residential rehabilitation and treatment services for economically disadvantaged Veterans and Veterans experiencing homelessness.  The program provides rehabilitation and treatment to approximately 6,000 Veterans experiencing homelessness with health problems each year.

  • FY 2010 - $119 million
  • FY 2011 -  $219 million          
  • FY 2012 - $201 million
  • FY 2013 (proposed) - $215 million

Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Program

The core mission of the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Program (HCHV) is primarily to perform outreach, provide by VA social workers and other mental health clinicians, to identify Veterans experiencing homelessness who are eligible for VA services and assist these Veterans in accessing appropriate health care and benefits. The main goal of outreach is to connect Veterans experiencing homelessness with needed services that will end their homelessness.  HCHV also provides residential treatment through contracts with community providers and longer-term case management through the HCHV- Supported Housing program.

  • FY 2010 - $83 million
  • FY 2011 - $140 million
  • FY 2012 - $135 million
  • FY 2013 (proposed) - $196 million

The Justice Outreach, Homelessness Prevention:  Healthcare for Reentry Veterans (HCRV, prison outreach) and Veteran’s JusticeOutreach (VJO, law enforcement, jail and court outreach)

Justice Outreach addresses the justice involvement continuum from first contact with law enforcement through release from prison or jail.  Veterans Justice Outreachisdesigned to help justice-involved Veteransavoid the unnecessary criminalization of mental illness and extended incarceration by ensuring that eligible Veterans have timely access to Veterans Health Administration mental health and substance abuse services when clinically indicated, and other VA services and benefits as appropriate. Health Care for Reentry Veterans assists Veterans released from prison to readjust to community life through access to community reintegration, health, and social services provided through VA and community services.

  • FY 2010 - $6 million
  • FY 2011 - $14 million
  • FY 2012 - $22 million
  • FY 2013 (proposed) - $21 million
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness

The President’s FY 2013 Budget Proposal includes an increase in funding for USICH to hire an additional regional coordinator and an additional staff member to support the agency’s mission.  The request provides the necessary resources to make the kind of progress and impact that is necessary to reach the goals in Opening Doors.

In FY 2012, USICH was granted budgetary authority to directly hire five regional staff and officially end the practice of HUD detailing regional coordinators to USICH.  Regional staff consists of one Director, National Engagement and Field Operations, who supervises and coordinates the work of four Regional Coordinators (RCs).These RCs will serve instrumental roles in implementing Opening Doors byencouraging state and local coordination through the development of local plans to end homelessness and state interagency councils and by ensuring focus on proven and targeted strategies and effective support and technical assistance to communities across the United States. RCs will serve as leaders in developing intercommunity collaborations.

  • FY 2010 - $2.5 million
  • FY 2011 - $2.7 million
  • FY 2012 - $3.3 million 
  • FY 2013 (proposed) - $3.6 million