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Tulsa awarded $5.38 million to help end youth homelessness

Tulsa awarded $5.38 million to help end youth homelessness

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced this week that Tulsa County, through A Way Home for Tulsa (AWH4T), is one of 17 local communities across the nation to receive a major grant to end youth homelessness.

“Placing young people experiencing homelessness into permanent housing can change the trajectory of their lives,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “With this funding, HUD is targeting federal resources to meet local needs and support community-driven efforts to end youth homelessness and improve outcomes through stable housing and services.”

Tulsa’s portion, $5.38 million, will support a wide range of housing programs targeting youth, which may include rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing and support, according to the HUD announcement.

“Youth homelessness is often less visible in the community than other forms of homelessness, but we know it’s prevalent and extends throughout the community,” said Becky Gligo, Housing Solutions executive director. “A Way Home for Tulsa agencies provided services to 6,323 individuals this year – 28% of whom, or about 1770, were youths. Tulsa is already fortunate to have resources like Youth Services of Tulsa that work hard to address youth homelessness. This award will support Tulsa’s comprehensive effort to end youth homelessness altogether.”

Housing Solutions is the lead agency for A Way Home for Tulsa, a collective of Tulsa County agencies that directly or indirectly affect homelessness. A Way Home for Tulsa’s mission is to make homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring. As the lead agency, Housing Solutions applied for the HUD award in support of AWH4T partner agencies.

“This award is an incredible achievement that shows how A Way Home for Tulsa leverages diverse resources from many partners to benefit the community,” said Melanie Stewart, AWH4T Leadership Council chair and Veterans Affairs Eastern Oklahoma program manager. “This funding will support critical housing needs for youth, but the investment will ripple throughout Tulsa as economic development, educational outcomes and increased stability for families.”

“I want to thank Secretary Fudge and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for providing this grant that will allow our community to create a comprehensive community plan and fund housing-focused programs that will help end the cycle of youth homelessness,” Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “I am proud of the commitment we have with our partners at A Way Home for Tulsa as we work together to find real solutions for every young Tulsan to have an equal shot at a great life.”

“As a proud partner of A Way Home for Tulsa, we are thrilled for Tulsa to receive this grant,” said Beth Svetlic, Youth Services of Tulsa assistant executive director. “Youth homelessness should not exist in any community, and we’re excited to lead Tulsa in ensuring a stable, welcoming home is available to all youth.”

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