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Under the leadership of the City of Madison and Briarpatch, the Dane County Continuum of Care (CoC), has been awarded a $2.5 million Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“This grant award is the culmination of many, many hours of collaborative work between City staff, alders and community partners. It’s especially affirming to receive it because applications were evaluated on factors such as leadership capacity and youth collaboration. With the benefit of these funds, we will continue collaborating to reduce the number of youth experiencing homelessness. I look forward to improving our ability to partner with young people as they work to secure stable housing,” said Mayor Rhodes-Conway.

The YHDP grant also positions the community to take advantage of funding that Mayor Rhodes-Conway has committed in the 2022 Capital Budget to develop permanent housing to serve youth aging out of the foster care system and facing the prospect of becoming homeless.

Gloria Reyes, Briarpatch Executive Director said, "Briarpatch is excited for the opportunity to work in collaboration with our community to elevate the issue of youth homelessness in our community and to develop a comprehensive plan that will support and reduce youth experiencing homelessness and obtain sustainable housing. This funding opportunity allows us to proactively prevent homelessness in our community." Briarpatch, celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year, is a non-profit partner dedicated to service youth and families in crisis in Dane County.

Madison’s District 6 Alder Brian Benford, who was active in the process of applying for this grant said, “I am incredibly happy to see this grant coming to our community. My work with youth for the past three decades has shown me that the need for permanent housing to serve youth aging out of the foster care system is a great one. This grant is a recognition of work that many organizations and partners have done over the years. It will provide us the boost to create a stronger safety net for our youth.”

HUD awarded $142 million to 33 communities; Madison/Dane County was one of only 22 non-rural communities selected. Youth with lived-experience helped HUD evaluate the nearly 100 applications to ensure that funds were awarded to applicants that understand the needs and preferences of the young people they will serve. Communities selected by HUD to receive funding now have six months to prepare a coordinated community plan.