To support the Obama administration’s goal to end homelessness, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $1.8 billion in grants for nearly 8,400 local homeless housing and service programs across the nation, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Continuum of Care grants will provide critically needed housing and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. In addition to renewing funding for thousands of existing projects, the grants will aid 25 new projects in 13 states that will provide permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals and families in high-need areas.

“It’s a national shame that anyone would call the streets their home,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro in a statement. “Working with our local partners, we’re redoubling our efforts to support permanent housing solutions for our veterans and those experiencing long-term chronic homelessness. We’re also focused on providing targeted assistance to families and young people who are falling between the cracks. As a nation, we can and must end homelessness.”

Strides have been made in decreasing the nation’s homeless population, according to HUD’s 2014 estimate. There were approximately 578,424 persons experiencing homelessness on a single night in January 2014, an overall drop of 10 percent and a 25 percent drop in the unsheltered population since 2010. In addition, homelessness among veterans declined by 11 percent between 2013 and 2014.