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HUD awards $16 million to Valley homeless programs

Volunteers check notes as they search for homeless beneath the Freeway 41 overpass along the San Joaquin River in Fresno Madera Continuum of Care’s homeless survey in 2016.
Volunteers check notes as they search for homeless beneath the Freeway 41 overpass along the San Joaquin River in Fresno Madera Continuum of Care’s homeless survey in 2016. ezamora@fresnobee.com

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in December awarded more than $16 million to homeless housing and service programs in the San Joaquin Valley.

The city and county of Fresno and Madera County received more than $9 million for 32 projects. Another 20 projects in the city of Visalia and Kings and Tulare counties were funded for a little more than $2 million. Merced, Bakersfield and the Stockton areas also received grants.

The new round of money comes just as volunteers nationwide prepare to count the number of homeless living on the street and in shelters to assess their needs.

There were 7,472 homeless people in the Valley on one single night in 2016, HUD estimates. Local communities have reported a 43 percent decrease in the number of homeless since 2010 when the Obama administration launched Opening Doors, the country’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness.

The Fresno Madera Continuum of Care, a coalition of groups that provide homeless services and housing, will conduct its 2017 Point-in-Time count in Fresno, Madera and some rural communities Jan. 24 to 26. The information collected will be included in HUD’s 2017 national homeless estimate.

Volunteers are needed. The tally count will be held Jan. 24 from 5 p.m. to midnight in Fresno and 5:30 p.m. to midnight in Madera. Survey days, when volunteers revisit the homeless to ask more detailed questions, will be held 5 p.m. to midnight Jan. 25 and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 26 in Fresno and 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 25 and 26 in Madera.

Training is needed. In Fresno, training sessions will be held 1 to 3 p.m. Jan. 18 and 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 21 at the Nielsen Center, 3100 N. Nielsen Ave. In Madera, training will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 20 in the council meeting room at Madera City Hall, 205 W. 4th St.

For more information, email Gabriela McNiel at gabriela.mcniel@westcare.com or call 559-251-4800 ext. 20917 in Fresno and Ariana Gomez at agomez@maderacap.org or 559-664-8212 in Madera.

BoNhia Lee: 559-441-6495, @bonhialee

Fiscal Year 2016 Continuum of Care Grant Awards

City and county CoC

No. of projects funded

Total award

Fresno city and county, Madera County

32

$9,006,586

Merced city and county

10

$738,049

Bakersfield and Kern County

20

$5,469,432

Visalia, Kings and Tulare counties

20

$2,087,201

Stockton and San Joaquin County

10

$4,290,724

Turlock, Modesto and Stanislaus County

19

$3,110,273

111

$16,408,321

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

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