The fight against homelessness in Wake County got a big boost this week when local agencies and nonprofits received a combined $4.1 million from the federal government.

The money awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is going to six entities that help people access affordable housing. Most of the funding focuses on helping people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness. 

The following organizations are receiving money: 

The grant represents a 22 percent increase in funding over last year—in other words, nonprofit leaders and county staff now have another $750,000 to spend.  

“This is the first significant increase in (Continuum of Care) Competition funding for Wake County in over 5 years,” Kim Crawford, executive director of the Raleigh Wake Partnership to End Homelessness, said in a news release. 

Crawford said the increase in funding shows that Wake County is on the right track when it comes to its plans to fight homelessness in the coming years. Her organization believes in a “housing first” approach, meaning they prioritize getting people into permanent shelter, then work on reducing other causes of homelessness, according to the release. 

Community leaders are also trying to destigmatize and decriminalize homelessness and reduce racial inequity among people experiencing homelessness.

“We are moving the needle for making homelessness in Wake County rare, brief, and nonrecurring,” Crawford said. 

Also this week, the Raleigh city council accepted a $5.2 million grant from the federal government for housing assistance. The money, which is emergency coronavirus funding awarded through the American Rescue Plan Act, can be used to help people who are homeless, at-risk of homelessness, or fleeing domestic violence or human trafficking. 

The city will develop a plan on how to spend these funds in the coming months. Staff plan to seek input from community members and consult with nonprofit partners and other agencies designed to address the housing crisis. 

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