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More than 50 Utah programs that help provide services and housing to homeless residents will receive federal grant money to continue operations in the coming year.

Utah providers will receive a total of $7.2 million, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

"This renewed funding is critical to meeting our goal of eradicating homelessness across our nation," Rick Garcia, HUD Rocky Mountain regional administrator, said in a prepared statement. "It's not only the right thing to do, but it's smart government and fiscally prudent. It saves taxpayers money by interrupting the costly cycling through shelters, emergency rooms, detox centers, jails and even hospitals that is common among persons experiencing chronic homelessness in particular."

The grants support a variety of programs including street outreach, client assessment, and direct housing assistance to individuals and families with children.