On Oct. 30, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance announced that $16.4 million was awarded to organizations assisting those experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the Hudson Valley.
In total, 64 non-profit organizations received this grant across New York State under the Solutions to End Homelessness Program (STEHP). The program “provides assistance for individuals and families to remain in or obtain permanent housing, and assistance with supportive services during their experience of homelessness, the eviction process and housing stabilization.” Each grant provides the organizations with five years of funding.
“We have an obligation to extend a helping hand to those at risk of losing, or who have already lost, their housing,” Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Mike Hein said in a press release. “The STEHP provides vital support to organizations that are helping so many New Yorkers overcome housing instability.”
STEHP was established in 2012 and is supported through funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the New York State Homeless Assistance fund.
Some organizations in the Hudson Valley who received this grant include Hudson River Housing of Dutchess County, Family of Woodstock of Ulster County, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley to aid those in Sullivan, Westchester, Ulster and Orange counties and Rural Ulster Preservation Company (RUPCO) of Ulster County.
According to data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in December 2017, homelessness in the Hudson Valley rose 6.7% from 2016 to 2017.
Hudson River Housing received $300,000 for “for shelter, rapid rehousing and prevention in Dutchess County.”
According to Christa Hines, executive director of Hudson River Housing, the organization’s emergency housing program helps over 1,500 people annually and provide “a continuum of other housing opportunities and services to thousands of others” in Dutchess County.
“The funds provide much needed rental assistance as well as staffing to support the people that we serve,” Hines said. “We have fortunately received this funding for many years and have helped hundreds avoid homelessness or become stably housed. We are proud to partner with New York State and many other supporters to create permanent solutions to help those in need.”
More specifically, the poverty rate in Ulster County is 13.2% and homelessness increased to 411 people in 2017 from 328 in 2016.
RUPCO received $273,000 for “adult rapid rehousing in Ulster County.” The organization also offers “several” programs that receive funding that is needed to help RUPCO serve its purpose and will look to help 125 people within the next year.
“This award helps RUPCO fund the programming we provide to those experiencing homelessness by helping to fund the supportive services we offer which aims to move them toward housing stability,” said RUPCO Communications Manager Julee Whalin. “RUPCO is excited for this new opportunity to serve the community. As you know housing crises affect us all especially those at most risk and or are homeless.”