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$21M grant from HUD will go to Miami-Dade County's effort to help city's homeless

MIAMI -- The effort to help the homeless in Miami-Dade County got a significant boost Thursday when officials announced the receipt of a $21 million grant.

The money, slated to come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will go to the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust.

The multi-million dollar grant was announced during an afternoon news conference attended by several local dignitaries, including Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Ron Book, chairman of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust as well as senior HUD officials.

"It's a great day in the 305," Cava said while thanking federal officials for the grant. "Thank you so very much. You do so much. You care so much. And we're the right place to make investments."

Officials said the money will be used to assist with addressing homelessness by providing funding for permanent supportive housing, the purchase of new housing units that can be rented to low-income people and street outreach efforts to the unsheltered.

According to its website, the group works to assists the county's unsheltered residents through a homeless hotline, shelter referrals and access to information on other homeless services.  

The money to Miami is part of a national HUD award that totals nearly $315 million in grants to 46 communities.

"Homelessness is a crisis, and it is solvable. Housing with supportive services solves homelessness. That's why, for the first time the federal government is deploying targeted resources to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness in unsheltered settings or in rural areas," said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge in a written statement. "With these grants and vouchers, HUD is filling this gap and giving communities the resources and tools to improve housing and health outcomes for people on the streets, in encampments, under bridges, and in rural areas."

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