The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Thursday it awarded a record $2 billion to homeless assistance programs across the nation.

The money, awarded by the department amid budget cuts, will be divided among 7,300 local homeless assistance programs under HUD’s Continuum of Care program, which grants support to local programs serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

“HUD stands with our local partners who are working each and every day to house and serve our most vulnerable neighbors,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. “We know how to end homelessness and it starts with embracing a housing-first approach that relies upon proven strategies that offer permanent housing solutions to those who may otherwise be living in our shelters and on our streets.”

HUD continues to challenge state and local Continuums of Care to support their highest performing local programs that have proven…