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Commissioner Proud Helps Kick-off Homeless Awareness Month

November 10, 2014 - OTDA Commissioner Kristin M. Proud joined a group of elected officials on Friday, November 7th at Unity House of Troy, Inc. to raise awareness about homelessness in the Capital Region. The event was the kick-off for Homeless Awareness Month, organized by The Capital Region Coalition to End Homelessness. Speaking on behalf of Governor Cuomo, Commissioner Proud said the state is committed to helping fund projects for organizations like Unity House through OTDA’s Homeless Housing Assistance Program (HHAP).

“In this year’s State Budget, Governor Cuomo more than doubled the amount of HHAP funding available, raising it from $30 million per year to $63 million,” she said.

HHAP is one of the few state-run programs in the country that provides funding for the construction and rehabilitation of shelters and housing units for homeless households. The program is designed to help families and individuals move out of homelessness and poverty, and achieve the highest level of independence possible.

OTDA recently helped fund Unity House’s new domestic violence shelter and awarded the organization another $309,825 for the Solutions to End Homelessness Program (STEHP) to pay for operation of its domestic violence shelter, homelessness prevention, and rapid rehousing for individuals and families who do become homeless.

In addition to Unity House, HHAP has made numerous other investments in the City of Troy and Rensselaer County. State funds helped support:

  • Rehabilitation of a permanent supportive housing program for the YWCA of the Greater Capital Region
  • Rehabilitation of an SRO project for Catholic Charities Housing Office at St. Peter’s Residence
  • Construction of an emergency shelter and two permanent supportive housing programs for Joseph’s House
  • Emergency housing for families at St. Paul’s Center

The Capital Region Coalition to End Homelessness reports there are over 1,300 homeless people in the Albany area, which includes 198 homeless families. The group says ten percent of all unsheltered persons are veterans.

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