SAN MATEO COUNTY has been chosen to receive federal funds to provide a home for 20 local families who will benefit from housing, one of the greatest needs today.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) selected the county and its partners for a competitive grant totaling $3.5 million over three years. The largest portion of the funds, $2.47 million, will provide 20 new housing vouchers.

“This is great news because we know that the solution to homelessness is, first and foremost, access to housing,” said Selina Toy Lee of the County Human Services Agency. 

“Once individuals and families have stable housing, we can help them with the supports they need, such as medical care, counseling and other services,” Lee added.

The vouchers will be administered by the Department of Housing and will provide rental assistance to individuals experiencing homelessness, including survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or human trafficking.

In addition to the new housing vouchers, HUD also awarded $919,000 over three years to Retraining the Village, an East Palo Alto-based nonprofit, to provide homeless outreach and housing support services, and $140,000 over three years to the County Human Services Agency to coordinate programs.

The HUD grant builds on the county’s efforts to end homelessness by ensuring that all homeless county residents can be safely sheltered in an emergency shelter or temporary or permanent housing.

Last month, local officials from across the Peninsula came together to celebrate the opening of San Mateo County’s first Navigation Center, which will provide 240 safe temporary living spaces for individuals and couples along with intensive on-site support services in Redwood City. 

It should be noted that shelter residents are beginning the process of moving out this month.

Peninsula 360 Press is a collaborative media outlet with news from Redwood City and the Peninsula, Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Latin America, Asia and Europe.

This story originally appeared in Peninsula 360 Press.