HUD funds will support three new homeless projects as well as existing programs

Riverside County will receive $6.56 million in federal funds that will help sustain current programs and create three new homeless assistance efforts.

The county’s Department of Public Social Services will use the funds to support existing projects that provide housing and social services to homeless residents. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development grant also provides $1.4 million for new programs that will provide an additional 47 permanent supportive housing beds. These beds will support disabled women with children and chronically homeless people.

“The increased funding comes at a critical economic time,” said Ronald Stewart, manager of the county’s homeless programs. “The funds allow us to give targeted support to community-based partners serving homeless people and to help end homelessness in our county.”

A countywide 2007 census found that more than 4,500 people were living on the streets and county shelters on a given day. Of those figures, 18 percent were children and 32 percent were women. National figures show that a third of homeless men are military veterans. A January report by The National Alliance to End Homelessness estimated that 1.5 million additional Americans are likely to experience homelessness over the next two years.

For more information, call homeless program manager Ronald Stewart at (951) 377-5500.