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Investigation by Adam Andrzejewski originally published by RealClearInvestigations.com and RealClearWire.com
Two years after the City of Chicago received $52 million in federal funding to combat homelessness, it has only distributed under $8 million, about 15% of it, according to an investigation by the Illinois Answers Project.
The funding came from the American Rescue Plan Act, which gave states and municipalities broad discretion on how they spent the funds. Chicago planned to use the $52 million to combat homelessness, an area where the city has already budgeted $200 million. Unfortunately, many programs are off to a slow start.
The Illinois Answers Project found that the funding was intended to support five programs. The first, called the Rapid Rehousing Program, was meant to quickly get homeless people into housing. Only $7.4 million of the $27.3 million budgeted, or about 27%, has been distributed.
Additionally, the Stabilization Housing Pilot Program, meant to help those with substance abuse and mental health issues, was budgeted at $12 million, though the city hasn’t released any funding yet for this program. Meanwhile, the Re-entry Workforce Development Program, meant to help the homeless find jobs, has only paid out $157,626, about 2% of its $8.2 million goal.
Next, the Rapid Rehousing Services of Gender-Based Violence Survivors program for victims of domestic abuse has distributed $440,691 of its expected $4.6 million. A program for formerly incarcerated people and a shelter initiative have also been created, but no funds have been paid out.
Chicago blames delays in staffing up for its slow rollout. Whatever the reason, Chicago must act quickly, as ARPA requires cities to have a plan for how to use the funds by the end of 2024. Cities must spend the funds by the end of 2026.
It’s a disgrace that Chicago is sitting on millions of dollars that could help alleviate its rampant homelessness.
By Adam Andrzejewski – The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com
This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.