The City of Auburn saw a 330 percent increase in residents seeking aid from the city’s General Assistance program in 2022, according to a report released Thursday by the Auburn Community Development Office.
The report, the Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report (CAPER), covers the city’s use of federal funds granted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under their Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs.
From July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, Auburn received 426 applications for General Assistance benefits, including 112 “asylum-related cases” — 509 percent more than the previous year.
Additionally, Auburn’s General Assistance Budget directed $233,375 in leveraged funds to the federal programs, a 237 percent increase over the previous year.
The funds, the city reports, were primarily used for housing, utility, and food aid for low- and moderate-income residents.
Under HUD’s HOME-American Rescue Plan program, Auburn helped 34 homeless families and 14 families at-risk of becoming homeless, according to the report.
The report also details the city’s use of COVID-era American Rescue Plan Act funds for the Project Support You (PSY) program, which pairs mental health and substance abuse crisis workers with Auburn police and fire departments.
In a collaboration with the nonprofit Tri-County Mental Health, in the first seven months covered by the report staff assisted 263 homeless individuals.
Tri-County Mental Health also provides free sterile syringes and Naloxone through its syringe exchange program.
The Auburn City Council will hold a public hearing on the report on Oct. 16.