NEW BEDFORD — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded New Bedford programs more than $2 million in grants to provide assistance and services to people experiencing homelessness.

A release from Mayor Jon Mitchell noted that the city will receive $2,092,585 via HUD's Continuum of Care grant program, as a result of grant applications from the city's Office of Housing and Community Development.

The announcement comes less than a week after city officials outlined a 22-point plan to tackle housing issues in New Bedford.

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Eight local programs — as well as data and strategic planning efforts — will receive federal funding, with the most money going to Catholic Social Services' Portico project.

Portico, a permanent supportive housing program for families or households with children, will receive $725,211 in funding.

Other Catholic Social Services programs also received grants, including Prism — a permanent supportive housing program for individuals who repeatedly find themselves homeless — and The Call, a coordinated intake and assessment system for those experiencing homelessness.

All together, Catholic Social Services programs received $907,366 in HUD grants.


Meanwhile the Southeast Massachusetts Council on Addiction's Family Preservation Program and its expansion program will receive a total of $411,708, while Steppingstone's Welcome Home program and its expansion will together receive $308,815.

PAACA's Step Up program, which provides permanent housing and supportive care to those transitioning out of homelessness, will receive $316,917.

The city's Homeless Management Information System, which aggregates data about homelessness trends, patterns of service use, and the effectiveness of programs, has been awarded $74,524.

Finally, the Continuum of Care Planning project will help with strategic planning.

HUD Continuum of Care grants go to local programs that help individuals and families experiencing homelessness, especially those living in places not meant for people to live in, those staying shelters, or those at risk of becoming homeless.

The federal government recently awarded $2.8 billion in Continuum of Care grant funding to local programs across the country.

Continuum of Care refers to a strategy to meet specific needs of people in a housing crisis to help break the cycle of homelessness, allowing them to find stable housing and become self-sufficient.

HUD funding goes to emergency shelter, rapid rehousing, and permanent housing programs nationwide.

"Every day the City and the [Homeless Service Providers Network] work without fanfare to address the complex issue of homelessness," said Mitchell.

"This new funding will enable that work to continue and will strengthen our efforts to stabilize the lives most vulnerable in our City."

New Bedford Housing Director Joshua Amaral said the grant funding is "essential" to ensure housing and services for those experiencing homelessness.

"This Continuum of Care application is competitive and requires a high degree of collaboration and coordination between our office and the HSPN throughout the year," he added.

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