Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced $2 billion in federal grants to fight homelessness across the country.

The northern Nevada area will receive about $1.7 million from this funding, which comes from what's called "Continuum of Care" grants. Although these are annual federal grants, the application process is competitive. 

The money is granted to local organizations across the U.S. with a strong track record of fighting homelessness.

That money is vital for the day-to-day operations of several local programs designed to help the homeless. One of those programs is Volunteers of America Northern Nevada, which receives about $850,000 of that money, each year.  

The VOA is the busiest it has been in years, providing support to the growing homeless community in Washoe County. Pat Cashell, Regional Director for the VOA says, "We're pushing 450-500 people a night, which we never had that before."

The entire state of Nevada will receive $15,864,846 from the overall $2 billion. Northern Nevada will see $1,707,408--that's up a fairly modest $4,000 from last year, when the area received $1,703,062 from the same funds.

However, that grant money is still crucial to keep homeless support efforts going.

Julianna Glock the Operations and Compliance Manager for the VOA's ReStart Programs told us exactly where those grants go. She says, "They go toward permanent supportive housing and rapid rehousing, where we provide about 69 units of housing for families and individuals."

However, the money goes toward more than just helping the homeless find housing. Glock continued, "Supportive services such as case management, mental health services like therapy, and medication management, some substance abuse."

Glock says funding from the grants should take effect around July.

Original Story: 

President Donald Trump's administration is announcing $2 billion in grants for local agencies seeking to help the homeless.

The amount announced Thursday is a slight increase over recent years and will go to 7,300 local projects.

Across the country, homelessness has been on a downward trend for years, according to government counts. But there has been a spike in numbers in California, Oregon and Washington, where rents have been rising fast.

"HUD stands with our local partners who are working each and every day to house and serve our most vulnerable neighbors," said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. "We know how to end homelessness and it starts with embracing a housing-first approach that relies upon proven strategies that offer permanent housing solutions to those who may otherwise be living in our shelters and on our streets."

Matthew Doherty, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness added, "Continuums of Care are critical leaders in the work to end homelessness nationwide. When communities marshal these--and other local, state, private, and philanthropic resources--behind the strongest housing-first practices, we see important progress in our collective goal to end homelessness in America."

The administration's announcement comes as it is proposing deep cuts to subsidized housing programs that also help the homeless.

Its proposed budget also calls for the elimination of the Interagency Council on Homelessness, which coordinates the federal response to the problem.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)