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Grants support homeless

The federal government has renewed funding next year for 208 Washington state programs serving the homeless, including about $3 million for 28 Spokane programs.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that statewide, $38.6 million will go to existing Continuum of Care grants to provide permanent and transitional housing to homeless persons as well as job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care.

“The grants we’re awarding today will literally keep the doors of our shelters open and will help those on the front lines of ending homelessness do what they do best,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

HUD’s 2011 “point in time” estimate showed a 2.1 percent decline in the number of homeless persons nationwide, including in Spokane where 1,273 homeless people were counted.