OKC Awarded $3 Million Aimed To End Homelessness Among Youths

Thursday, August 11th 2022, 5:58 pm

By: News 9


The City of Oklahoma City was selected as the first city in the state to receive funding from the Youth and Homeless Demonstration Program.

The YHDP is a Housing and Urban Development program which awarded the city more than $3 million in community funding to go towards preventing or ending youths experiencing homelessness.

The 2022 Point in Time Count showed that youth homelessness in Oklahoma City has grown by almost 35% over the past two years. 

Oklahoma City Public Schools reported nearly 2,000 children experiencing homelessness enrolled at the end of last school year.

Two nonprofits in the city are receiving most of the money: HOPE Community Services Inc. and Sisu Youth Services.

HOPE Community Services Inc will receive $150,000 in 2022 and in 2023. Sisu Youth Services will take in $990,000 annually through 2023.

Sisu Youth Services executive director Rachel Bradley said the nonprofits plan to use this money on expanding its services, which include more housing options.

“With this funding, we'll be able to increase our drop-in hours significantly, creating a space where young people can access showers, laundry, food and clothing whenever they need it, almost around the clock," Bradley said.

Bradley described the homelessness issues among young people as critical. She hopes the funding will create long-term sustainability.

 "We are at a tipping point, and it's time to address this crisis," Bradley said.

Sisu Youth Services also received a separate HUD fund of $1 million worth of Community Development Block Grant funds to renovate and open a new facility for drop-in and emergency shelter services to youths experiencing homelessness.

The funding will specifically go towards the construction and renovation of their new building, which will expand the capacity of Sisu’s emergency shelter for young people aged 15 to 22 years old to a total of 20 beds.


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