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HUD doles out cash to Hudson Valley homeless groups

Douglas Robinson, 58, organizes his locker at the

Douglas Robinson, 58, organizes his locker at the Open Arms Shelter in White Plains. (March 26, 2013) Photo Credit: Elizabeth Daza

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced around $660,000 in awards to homeless organizations in the Hudson Valley on Thursday.

"These modest investments in housing and serving our homeless neighbors not only save money, but save lives," HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a statement. "These local programs are on the front lines of the Obama administration's efforts to prevent and end homelessness as we know it once and for all."

Thirteen local groups received funding. Among the recipients that received the most money were Westchester County Department of Social Services programs, which received around $138,000; Grace Church Community Center in White Plains, which received $130,387; and the Yonkers Housing Authority, which got around $74,000.

HUD gave New York State a total of $6 million.

At the Grace Church Community Center, the HUD money would pay for a program called "Another Way Home," which helps individuals who can't find a home because of substance abuse and similar problems.

"This project really targets people having significant difficulty getting out of a shelter," said the center's executive director, Paul Anderson-Winchell. "We get them out of the shelter, get them stable and used to their own apartments and then eventually into permanent housing."

Other funding would help local groups reach out to homeless people living on the streets, assess the size of homeless populations, and pay for transitional as well as permanent housing, Donovan's statement said.

New York's homeless population increased by 9.6 percent in 2012, the statement said. Nationally, however, levels of homelessness have remained flat, HUD stated.

The funds are separate from the $7.4 million frozen by HUD as part if its dispute with Westchester County over a 2009 housing settlement. That money would be funneled through the county to fund or compensate localities for municipal road and park improvements as well as housing.

HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan said the $660,000 went directly to homeless programs and was not funneled thorugh the county.

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