The Coalition for the Homeless announced Friday that it is receiving a $3.45 million federal grant to support its efforts to reduce and eliminate youth and young adult homelessness in Louisville.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the funding to Louisville as part of its Homeless Youth Demonstration Grant, as the city was one of the 11 chosen to receive part of the $43 million total grant.

The coalition developed an extensive plan to address the needs of homeless youth in Louisville two years ago, creating a by-name list of youth who need assistance with housing and services and building the resources needed to implement the plan.

A news release announcing the new grants stated that the Coalition for the Homeless will now collaborate with HUD to finalize this plan and use these new resources to implement programs that provide homeless outreach, services, and housing for homeless youth, with the ultimate goal of eliminating young adult homelessness in Louisville by 2020.

Natalie Harris, the executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless, stated in the release that the opportunity of the HUD grant “is only possible because so many community partners are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Louisville’s youth.”

“Our list of over 70 partners includes homeless service providers like Family Scholar House, Home of the Innocents, Centerstone (TAYLRD), and YMCA Safe Place,” stated Harris. “But they have been supported by so many others, including but not limited to the Coalition Supporting Young Adults, our local police, Louisville Free Public Library, Louisville Metro Housing Authority, KentuckianaWorks, True Up, St. Vincent de Paul, and Youth Build. We have learned so much already about how to work as a team and this new resource gives us the energy and resources to make it to the finish line.”

Last year, the coalition successfully completed its 100-Day Challenge to end homelessness for 100 young adults by the end of the year, and has reduced the 220 identified homeless youth since that time by over 50 percent.

Joe Sonka is a staff writer at Insider Louisville focusing on government, politics, education and public safety. He is a former news editor and staff writer at LEO Weekly and has also freelanced for The Nation and ThinkProgress. He has won first place awards from the Louisville Metro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in the categories of Health Reporting, Enterprise Reporting, Government/Politics, Minority/Women’s Affairs Reporting, Continuing Coverage and Best Blog. Email him at [email protected]


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