Combatting homelessness is a positive goal, and it’s hard to fault the Obama administration’s Department of Housing and Urban Development for awarding a record $1.95 billion in grants to some 7,600 homeless assistance programs across the nation.
A press release at the HUD website quotes Secretary Julián Castro as saying:
Today marks another critical investment in support of those working each and every day to house and serve our most vulnerable neighbors. We know how to end homelessness and will continue to encourage our local partners to use the latest evidence to achieve success. These grants support proven strategies to end homelessness once and for all.
As with any government program involving the doling out of cash, this one will need to be closely scrutinized to make sure the money ends up improving the lives of the hapless souls it’s meant to help.
But there’s another angle to this program that deserves at least as much attention. That is the distribution of funds. Susan Jones of CNSNews ran the numbers. Here is what she discovered:
Excluding Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the total amount going to the 50 states and the District of Columbia is $1,933,264,877. And of that total, 59.00 percent — $1,140,698,805 — went to states won by Clinton. [Emphasis added]
Among the states getting … grants, California will get the largest share by far, a total of $352,946,617 for 933 local homeless-assistance projects. Next up is New York ($195,920,284 for 621 projects), followed by Illinois ($104,862,190 for 416 projects), and Pennsylvania ($100,357,941 for 515 projects) [which was carried by Donald Trump].
Jones emphasizes that the awards have nothing ultimately to do with who the residents of a state voted for, “but they do indicate that homelessness is more of a problem in blue states, some of them large and some of them small.” You are free to draw your own inferences, but it does seem curious that people living in states that vote mainly for Democrats, who favor big government, end up needing more government assistance just to get by.