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Washington gets federal funding boost to fight homelessness

Dave Chung, who says he has been homeless for five years on the streets of California and Washington state, eats a meal before bedding down in a bus shelter in view of Seattle’s Space Needle in October 2017. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

The federal government is providing $2 billion in additional grant funding to fight the nation’s homeless crisis.

It will provide more than $1.4 million for Washington to fight the issue locally.

“This is money that goes directly to non-profits and service providers around the state for housing people experiencing homelessness,” Nick Mondau with the Washington State Department of Commerce said.

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The Washington Post reports that homelessness rates are going down in many parts of the country. Many cities on the West Coast are the exception, however, where rents have dramatically been on the rise. The Post reports that California will get a total of $383 million (up from $354 million in 2016). Oregon will receive $36.3 million. Washington state is slated for $59.6 million, which is an increase of about $1.4 million over the previous year. According to the Washington State Department of Commerce, it’s a 2.4 percent rise.

That money will filter down to Washington’s various counties.

Federal grant funding for homelessness

County 2016 Awards 2017 Awards Difference
Seattle/King County $34,457,083 $35,146,190 $689,107
Spokane City & County $3,776,210 $3,785,801 $9,591
Tacoma/Pierce County $3,303,548 $3,327,896 $24,348
Everett/Snohomish County $7,982,600 $8,205,677 $233,077
Yakima City & County $503,296 $630,395 $127,099
Vancouver/Clark County $1,738,388 $1,981,862 $243,474
Washington balance of state $6,373,115 $6,478,975 $105,860
Washington total $58,134,240 $59,556,796 $1,422,056

The funding boost comes as the Trump administration also is proposing cuts to subsidized housing programs that are commonly used to help people out of homelessness. The budget aims to cut the Interagency Council on Homelessness, which manages the federal response to the crisis, according to the Associated Press.

RELATED: Expert: Homeless response too little, too late

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