A homeless encampment under the I-264 overpass on Jefferson Street.

A homeless encampment under the I-264 overpass on Jefferson Street. | Photo by Michael L. Jones

Six local organizations have been named beneficiaries of a $3.45 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant to the Coalition for the Homeless to help end youth and young adult homelessness in Louisville, according to an announcement Tuesday.

Louisville was one of 11 communities nationally to be awarded the HUD grant in 2018. In March of this year, the coalition issued an RFP for proposals to implement Louisville’s coordinated community plan.

According to Tuesday’s announcement, the six local agencies receiving HUD funding are Centerstone of Kentucky, Family Scholar House, Home of the Innocents, KentuckianaWorks, YouthBuild and YMCA Safe Place.

The awardees will begin their work later this fall through two-year renewable grants, according to the coalition.

The grant is part of HUD’s Youth Homeless Demonstration Program funding, which aims to “support communities in the development and implementation of a coordinated community approach to preventing and ending youth homelessness, and sharing that experience with and mobilizing communities around the country,” the announcement said.

The population to be served by this program, the coalition said, is youth experiencing homelessness, including unaccompanied and pregnant or parenting youth, where no member of the household is older than 24.

Local groups have collaborated with HUD to finalize the plan, according to the coalition, and are now able to use the resources made available through the grant to implement programs that provide homeless outreach, services and housing for homeless youth. The stated goal of the collaborative effort is to eliminate young adult homelessness in Louisville by the end of 2020.

Natalie Harris, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless, said in a news release, “It will only be through the funding of programs that focus on housing and life stabilizing services that we will be able to prevent and end homelessness for this vulnerable group of young people.”

Even so, the funding only goes so far to solving homelessness in Louisville for all groups, the coalition said, pointing to recent city budget cuts.

The coalition cited a recent University of Louisville study indicating a need for 30,000 additional housing units for Louisvillians earning $25,000 or less and said that the HUD funding would not affect the city’s lack of affordable housing inventory.

Here are the organizations’ projects as outlined by the Coalition for the Homeless and the funding amount for two-year grants. Each agency has to raise 25% matching funds to leverage these federal dollars:

  • Centerstone of Kentucky has been awarded a $100,000 services-only grant to fund a communitywide case manager based at a TAYLRD drop-in center for homeless youth.
  • Family Scholar House has been awarded a $168,532 services-only grant to fund the assistance of homeless youth to participate in Family Scholar House educational support and resilience programs.
  • Home of the Innocents, in partnership with St. Vincent de Paul, has been awarded a $1,308,000 services and housing grant to fund a 24-unit transitional housing facility with scattered-site rapid re-housing assistance as they transition to permanent housing.
  • KentuckianaWorks has been awarded a $200,000 services-only grant to provide employment training to young adults in Louisville’s homeless programs.
  • YouthBuild, in partnership with many organizations (including Louisville Free Public Library, the Louisville Urban League, Jefferson County Public Schools and the Louisville Youth Group), has been awarded a $958,000 services-only grant to fund a comprehensive program that includes a communitywide housing navigator, four peer support specialists, and two case managers. In addition, YouthBuild has been awarded a grant for a housing-only program to fund 20 rapid re-housing vouchers to provide housing assistance for homeless young adults in employment programs.
  • YMCA Safe Place has been awarded a grant to fund a $657,988 services-only program to provide outreach, drop-in services, a crisis hotline, and three communitywide case managers plus two peer support specialists, as well as a service pool for transportation and food.

The Coalition for the Homeless says it has spent $60,000 of the YHDP award on coordinating the highly collaborative process to leverage these funds and to support the Youth Action Board, made of up homeless and formerly homeless young adults.