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HUD Great Plains announces historic funding to address homelessness in Nebraska
[The 17th Annual State of North Omaha (SoNO) and State of African Americans Summit held at the Swanson Conference Center in Omaha, Nebraska on January 27, 2024 (Photo credit: HUD Great Plains)(L-R) Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor-Baird and Nebraska Field Office Director Kitty Amaya at a news conference to announce over $10 million of Fiscal Year 2023 Continuum of Care funds to the city of Lincoln and state of Nebraska at the city/county office building in Lincoln on Thursday, February 8, 2024 (Photo credit: HUD Great Plains)]
(L-R) Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor-Baird and Nebraska Field Office Director Kitty Amaya at a news conference to announce over $10 million of Fiscal Year 2023 Continuum of Care funds to the city of Lincoln and state of Nebraska at the city/county office building in Lincoln on Thursday, February 8, 2024
(Photo credit: HUD Great Plains)
[(L-R) Nebraska Field Office Director Kitty Amaya, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless (MACCH) Executive Director Jason Feldhaus and Lisa Vukov, Director of Programs and Compliance for MACCH at a news conference to announce $5.8 million of Fiscal Year 2023 Continuum of Care funds to the cities of Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa at the Omaha city hall building on Thursday, February 8, 2024 (Photo Credit: HUD Great Plains)]
(L-R) Nebraska Field Office Director Kitty Amaya, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless (MACCH) Executive Director Jason Feldhaus and Lisa Vukov, Director of Programs and Compliance for MACCH at a news conference to announce $5.8 million of Fiscal Year 2023 Continuum of Care funds to the cities of Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa at the Omaha city hall building on Thursday, February 8, 2024.
(Photo Credit: HUD Great Plains)

In a landmark move that underscores the Biden-Harris administration's unwavering commitment to combating homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded an unprecedented $3.16 billion to fortify the nation in its fight against this critical issue, through the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program competition awards.

At a press conference in Lincoln, Nebraska on February 8, 2024, Nebraska Field Office Director Kitty A. Amaya presented two ceremonial checks to local leaders for the city of Lincoln and the Balance of State organization that serves Nebraska’s rural areas, operated by the University of Nebraska Lincoln – Center for Children, Families, and the Law (UNL-CCFL). Highlighting the importance of addressing homelessness across various community settings, Director Amaya stated, “But we all know that homelessness is right here with us in Lincoln. It is no less deadly and no less intractable an issue.” CCFL, as the lead agency for the state’s CoC, received more than $10 million, earmarked for enhancing the city's and rural areas' capacity to provide shelter and services. The presence of Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor-Baird and CCFL Senior Project Director Jeff Chambers at the ceremony highlighted the local dedication to leveraging these funds effectively and collaboratively.

Similarly, in Omaha, the announcement of a $5.8 million award to both the city leadership and the Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless (MACCH) brought together key figures, including Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and MACCH Executive Director Jason Feldhaus. This funding is aimed at reinforcing the efforts within the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area to offer program services that span from immediate shelter needs to long-term housing solutions, marking a significant step forward in the collective mission to end homelessness.

Though not in attendance, HUD Great Plains Regional Administrator Ulysses Clayborn added his thoughts stating, "While we saw rises in the overall rate of homelessness in Omaha based on the 2023 Point in Time count data, we are urgently responding to the need in the community, getting these historic levels of grant funds in the hands of our local partners. I also want to thank our extraordinary partners and volunteers at MACCH that have helped with the 2024 count and making sure that our unsheltered neighbors in the community are heard and we are informed by their lived experiences."

The infusion of these funds by the Biden-Harris Administration through HUD is more than a financial allocation; it's a clear signal of an intensified commitment to eradicating homelessness in communities across Nebraska. This strategic investment in Lincoln, Omaha, and their surrounding areas reinforces the ongoing efforts to not only provide immediate relief but also to lay the groundwork for long-term, sustainable solutions.

By strengthening the partnership between federal, state, and local agencies and focusing on actionable outcomes, HUD and its partners are setting a precedent for a future where secure and stable housing is a reality for all Nebraskans.

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