Lexington receives record $1.8 million in federal homeless assistance

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said Tuesday that Lexington is the recipient of a $1.8 million federal grant designed to help community organizations reduce and end homelessness. This funding is critical to many permanent housing projects in Lexington.

“Ending homelessness is essential to ensure that all people have the opportunity to live healthy, productive lives,” Gorton said. “This is the highest level of funding we have ever received from this grant, and a 21 percent increase over the previous year.”

Polly Ruddick, director of the city’s Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention, applied for the grant on behalf of community providers. “These organizations are doing tremendous work to provide housing to those who need it most,” Ruddick said. “Recent bitterly cold weather reminds us how important it is for everyone to have a roof over their head.”

Councilmembers Angela Evans and Kathy Plomin are members of the Homelessness Prevention and Intervention Board. “This funding increase is confirmation to Lexington that we are positively and effectively addressing homelessness,” Evans said. “Our partner organizations have done amazing work and I’m thrilled they will be able to maintain and even expand the work they do to further assist our homeless citizens.”

Plomin said, “The Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention, with Polly Ruddick’s guidance and leadership, has accomplished a great deal in our community since its creation in 2014. I am very proud to see the proactive efforts of our community be rewarded by this grant and the opportunities it will create for families and individuals.”

Since 2014, Lexington has decreased homelessness by 55 percent. “Moving forward, the federal government will dedicate scarce resources only to communities that can prove they are reducing and ending homelessness,” Ruddick said. “Lexington is one of those communities.”

This funding, a Continuum of Care Competition Program award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will provide an additional 22 permanent housing vouchers for individuals or families fleeing domestic violence. In addition, there are 35 new permanent housing vouchers for individuals or families.

Other awarded funding will maintain the current 174 permanent housing vouchers for individuals or families. The grant will also allow Lexington-Fayette County to comply with federal regulations such as Continuum of Care Planning and Coordinated Entry.

For more information about the Office of Homelessness Prevention & Intervention, visit lexingtonky.gov/ohpi.