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In Columbus, HUD Secretary Ben Carson Announces $2 Billion to Help the Homeless

photo of Ben Carson and Sonya Thesing
HUD Secretary Ben Carson presents a mock-up of a check to Sonya Thesing, executive director of Huckleberry House, which works with teens and families in crisis from abuse, violence, poverty and homelessness. It’s among 280 in Ohio getting money from HUD. ";

The U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development visited Columbus to announce new money to combat homelessness across the country – the day after a new report showed a slight increase in Ohio’s homeless population.   

HUD Secretary Ben Carson says nearly $2.2 billion will be awarded to some 6,500 programs nationwide serving the homeless. That includes 280 in Ohio, which is 4th in the nation in this kind of funding. Carson says homelessness caused by a lack of affordable housing could be solved with 3-D building technology and with tiny houses.

"We have to remove some of the barriers to be able to utilize them. NIMBYism is a big problem in our country – ‘not in my back yard’, and I understand it," Carson said. 

Carson says this funding is an overall increase, and there’s more to come – but he says money won’t solve the addiction, mental illness and runaway housing costs that lead to homelessness.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.