Strategic Action Plan on Homelessness. HHS Programs That Serve Individuals, Youth, and Families Experiencing Homelessness


HHS operates a range of programs that may serve individuals and families experiencing homelessness.  The relevant programs are divided into two categories: targeted homeless assistance programs, which are specifically designed to serve individuals and families who are homeless, and mainstream programs, which are designed to meet broader goals, such as alleviating poverty or providing health care to low-income persons.  The budgets of the targeted homeless programs have experienced growth since 2003 (see Table 1), but improving access to mainstream programs remains critical to increasing the Departments capacity to serve this population.

Often times, individuals or families who are homeless are eligible for, or can access, services provided through mainstream programs.  The combined total budget of the targeted homeless assistance programs is less than one percent of the combined total budget of the mainstream programs that individuals or families who are homeless may access (see Table 2).  Additionally, utilization of the mainstream programs not only represents a significant funding stream, but also greatly expands the capacity of the Department to provide the necessary services to persons experiencing homelessness.  However, barriers to accessing mainstream programs often hinder the engagement of some persons experiencing homelessness (such as a lack of a permanent, fixed address), and a lack of knowledge about engaging persons experiencing homelessness commonly exists within the broader mainstream service provider community.  In order to improve the accessibility and take advantage of the funding and capacity available within the mainstream programs, the Department has engaged in a range of strategies to increase access to mainstream resources for persons experiencing homelessness.

Table 2.
HHS Budget Growth  Targeted Homelessness Programs FY 2003-FY 2006

(all values in millions)
  FY 2003 FY 2004 FY 2005 FY 2006
Grants for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals $29.7 $33.2 $36.0 $44.0*
Health Care for the Homeless $121.7 $135.7 $145.8 $151.4
Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) $43.1 $49.8 $54.8 $54.2
Programs for Runaway and Homeless Youth $105.4 $104.7 $103.9 $102.8
Title V/ Surplus Property** --- --- --- ---
Note: Table reports funding only for targeted homeless programs and does not include funding for research (NIH, OASPE, SAMHSA, HRSA, ACF);
*Includes $4 million in one-time CMHS funds to support competitively-awarded supplements for chronic homelessness;
** The Title V/Surplus Property program involves the transfer of surplus federal property from HHS to a homeless assistance provider, and the program does not have a line item budget.
Table 3.
HHS Budget Growth  Mainstream Programs FY 2003-FY 2006

(all values in millions)
  FY 2003 FY 2004 FY 2005 FY 2006
Access to Recovery --- --- $99 $98
Child Support Enforcement Program $4,063.1 $4,004.2 $4,093.5 $4,206.5
Community Mental Health Services Block Grant $437 $435 $433 $429
Community Services Block Grant $646 $642 $637 $630
Community Health Centers $1,505 $1,617 $1,735 $1,782
Family Violence Prevention and Services Grant Program $129.0 $128.6 $128.9 $127.6
Head Start $6,667 $6,775 $6,843 $6,786
Maternal & Child Health Services Block Grant $731 $730 $724 $693
Medicaid $160,693 $176,231 $181,780 $180,625
Ryan White CARE Act $2,018 $2,045 $2,073 $2,063
Social Services Block Grant $1,700 $1,700 $1,700 $1,700
State Childrens Health Insurance Program $4,355 $4,607 $5,129 $5,451
Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant $1,754 $1,779 $1,776 $1,759
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families $17,009 $17,209 $17,881 $17,059

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