WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — This week, the Trump administration announced it will devote nearly $75 million to help end youth homelessness.
The money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will help support initiatives in 23 communities nationwide including Indianapolis, Indiana, Columbus, Ohio, and Buffalo, New York.
Homeless youth are a vulnerable and often unseen population.
“Living on the streets, living in abandoned buildings, living in cars” said Steve Berg, National Alliance to End Homelessness. He said fixing the problem requires more attention and resources.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson said he recognizes the growing concern, and wants to provide security for young people living without a permanent home.
His agency recently gave $75 million dollars in grants to help end youth homelessness nationwide.
“It will provide them with shelter and also with counseling and guidance” said Carson.
Carson said the money will help 23 communities across the country with programs providing housing options for homeless people under the age of 25.
He also wants to improve the way local agencies work to get homeless youth back on their feet.
“The ultimate to goal is not just to give them a shelter, but to give them a trajectory in their lives so they can be self-sufficient” said Carson.
This year’s funding is nearly double the amount awarded last year. Carson sees the increase as a critical investment in future generations.
While the money only goes to a small number of communities, Berg believes the program’s benefits will have a significant impact.
“I think it is going to be helpful because this is a problem that really needs solutions now, and I think this is a way to really get people working at that” said Berg.
Supporters acknowledge money alone won’t fix the problem, but it’s an important step for ending youth homelessness.