SAN ANTONIO – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $9,175,480 to organizations working to address homelessness in San Antonio and Bexar County.
The funding will help rehouse homeless individuals and families, increase access to mainstream programs and provide permanent supportive housing funding for people experiencing chronic homelessness, officials said.
The money should also help provide an accurate count of those living on the streets.
One of the people benefiting from the funding is Anthony Berardi.
After a year of homelessness due to addiction, Berardi, his wife, and two young children are in family housing at Haven For Hope.
Things are looking up for Berardi. He has a job interview scheduled and his wife has her third interview set up.
"She should know within a day or two whether she'll get hired. It looks pretty good though," Berardi said.
The fact that programs like Haven For Hope are getting more federal funding comes as no surprise to Berardi.
"I see a lot of success here, Salvation Army, you know, the different other programs, you know, here in San Antonio," he said. "I see a lot of people getting back on their feet."
For the past two years, HUD has increased federal funding for San Antonio to fight homelessness, including 6 percent increase in 2018.
"Our programs are running better than they have in the past, and we're getting a bigger piece of the distribution that's available," said Bill Hubbard, homeless executive director for the South Alamo Regional Alliance.
SARAH will divide the funds between 11 city and county programs that make up a big portion of rental assistance and support services.
Part of the funding will be used to determine the homeless population on the streets. The Point in Time count happens next week, which will also pinpoint if the homeless are individuals, families, veterans and the disabled.
While other big cities, like Baltimore, have seen funding drop in recent years, Hubbard said San Antonio is keeping the homeless population steady.
Berardi is just happy his family should soon find employment, which he said will lead to finding a permanent home.
"Without Haven for Hope, you know, and the programs that are available, and the monies that become available to the city of San Antonio, we wouldn't have half the chance that we have now," he said.