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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Langevin, Cicilline Secure $3.2 Million to Help Eliminate Youth Homelessness in Rhode Island

Tremendous gap in aid for homeless kids in Rhode Island

Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced that the Rhode Island Continuum of Care (RICoC) will be receiving $3.2 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP). 

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, youth homelessness in Rhode Island has increased 23% since last year, according to RICoC. 

The YHDP funds awarded to RICoC will be used to improve housing efforts focused on youth, with the goal of eliminating youth homelessness in Rhode Island. 

Specifically, the federal funding will go towards building a constituent-informed response for youth experiencing homelessness with focused attention to prevention and diversion. 

The grant will help RICoC expand categorical eligibility for existing programs, institute direct cash support, create safe spaces for subpopulations at disproportionate risk, and create youth-specific emergency shelter, diversion, and crisis services.  

“Every child deserves a safe and loving place to call home, so we must do everything in our power to reverse the tragic spike in youth homelessness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rep. Langevin, Co-Chair of the Congressional Foster Youth Caucus. 

“By listening to the young people affected by this pandemic and incorporating the latest data, I’m confident that RICoC will be able to use this federal funding to effectively eliminate youth homelessness in Rhode Island.” 

“The pandemic has taken its toll on so many people over the past year and a half.  We have seen a significant increase in youth homelessness because of COVID-19,” said Rep. David N. Cicilline. “The federal grant will help the Rhode Island Continuum of Care combat and prevent youth homelessness in the state. This funding will make a real difference in the lives of so many young, at-risk Rhode Islanders.” 

Currently, there are no youth-centered crisis housing opportunities in Rhode Island and few dedicated housing programs for youth. This federal funding, supplemented by expert professionals and data, will help create a cohesive system focused on reducing youth homelessness throughout Rhode Island.