Mayor Michelle Wu announced the City of Boston has received more than $47 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support nonprofit organizations providing services to individuals experiencing homelessness. This award represents the City’s largest ever Continuum of Care award. The funds will be distributed among 18 nonprofit organizations that provide critical services and support to Boston’s unhoused residents and advance Mayor Wu’s goals to end homelessness in the City.
The funding is made available through the HUD’s annual Continuum of Care awards, a grant program coordinated by the Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH). Over the last nine years, MOH has grown the funding the City receives from this grant by more than 111 percent, from $22.6 million in 2015 to $47.7 million this year, as a result of their competitive application and demonstrated ability to deliver results in collaboration with partner agencies.
“Boston residents and families in every neighborhood deserve the opportunity to reside in secure, stable, and affordable housing,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “In our ongoing commitment to make Boston a city where everyone has a home, the Continuum of Care grants from HUD play a vital role in assisting organizations dedicated to providing essential services and support for our unhoused residents. I extend my gratitude to HUD Secretary Fudge and the entire Massachusetts Congressional delegation for securing the City of Boston’s largest Continuum of Care award to date and for their unwavering support as we collaboratively strive to eradicate homelessness in our city.”
The City will allocate this federal HUD funding to organizations that offer a range of services and supports including housing search, the creation of housing for people experiencing long-term homelessness, rapid re-housing funds, and stabilization services to allow newly housed families and long-term-homeless individuals to receive the support they need to succeed. In total, this $47 million award will continue to provide crucial support for nearly 1,900 homeless and formerly homeless households, offering tailored services to help them obtain and maintain permanent housing.
“Boston has a successful network of experienced non-profit organizations committed to serving our homeless,” said Sheila Dillon, Chief of Housing. “This funding award allows us to continue the important work of moving our homeless residents from shelters and the street into housing that they can afford with the services they need to be successful. Given the high cost of housing in Boston and the region, this funding award, the largest in our Continuum’s history, is more important than ever.”
Four new programs sponsored by three providers received funding through this year’s award. Hildebrand Family Self-Help, Inc. will receive funding to create a permanent supportive housing program with wrap-around services for Boston families experiencing long-term homelessness. Justice 4 Housing will create a new program to swiftly serve survivors of domestic violence with safe housing and case management. Victory Programs will fund two new projects that will serve survivors of gender-based violence and LGBTQ+ youth, ages 18 – 24.
“This funding will provide more than $47 million to homeless service providers throughout Boston who provide crucial resources in the fight to prevent and end homelessness,” said HUD New England Regional Administrator Juana Matias. “We will continue to work together with our Continuum of Care partners to find solutions that ensure every Bostonian has a safe place to call home.”
“I am thrilled Hildebrand Family Self-Help Center is a new awardee in the Boston Continuum of Care,” said Shiela Y. Moore, CEO, Hildebrand Family Self-Help, Inc. “The Supportive Housing Team of the Mayor’s Office of Housing have been great partners, and we look forward to deepening our work together in reducing family homelessness. Given that Hildebrand is on the frontlines of providing emergency shelter, this funding allows us to add 12 permanent supportive housing units for children and families currently unhoused.”
“We are incredibly grateful for this new Continuum of Care funding, which will allow Victory Programs to expand our commitment to addressing critical needs to include survivors of gender-based violence and LGBTQ+ youth,” said Sarah Porter, Executive Director of Victory Programs. “We appreciate the strong efforts of Boston’s supportive housing team; a phenomenal partner. Together, we are opening doors to healing and empowerment for 48 extremely vulnerable households, and I am profoundly thankful for the collaborative spirit that drives us forward.”
“These new Continuum of Care grants will allow us to continue our work in housing our most vulnerable populations – those experiencing chronic homelessness and suffering from disabilities,” said Chris Norris, Executive Director of Metro Housing|Boston. “With the shortage of affordable housing in our region, these funds are crucial to the success of the CoC and to continuing the solid partnerships we have with participating service providers and the supportive housing team at the Mayor’s Office of Housing.”
Mayor Wu has made ending homelessness a priority. Boston offers services to homeless individuals by offering wraparound services to those who require the additional level of care. Chronically homeless individuals have barriers that create challenges to remaining housed. These barriers can include physical disabilities, substance use disorders, and mental health challenges. As part of Boston’s plan, the City is committed to a “housing first” approach to homelessness which is based on the belief that everyone should have access to permanent housing. In 2023, Boston housed 2,220 people experiencing homelessness, including 463 family households and 901 adult individuals. Among those are 119 unaccompanied youth and young adults as well as 157 veterans. Last fall, a dozen City departments and partner agencies transformed how the City cares for unsheltered constituents impacted by substance use disorder, homelessness, and untreated mental illness, with a focus on the ‘Mass and Cass’ / Newmarket neighborhood.
Mayor Wu and the City of Boston extend their gratitude to the Biden-Harris Administration and HUD for their continued commitment to addressing homelessness and supporting communities nationwide. For more information on the HUD’s FY 2023 Continuum of Care Competition Awards, please visit HUD’s official press release.