LEXINGTON, Ky --- The city of Lexington is working to end homelessness and now city officials have a federal grant to help them. 

Mayor Linda Gorton announced Tuesday that Lexington was awarded a $1.8 million federal grant designed to help community organizations reduce and end homelessness. 

Gorton said, "This is the highest level of funding we have ever received from this grant, and a 21 % increase over the previous year.”

Since 2014, Lexington has decreased homelessness by 55 percent. “Moving forward, the federal government will dedicate scarce resources only to communities that can prove they are reducing and ending homelessness,” says Polly Ruddick, Lexington's Director of the City’s Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention.

This funding, a Continuum of Care Competition Program award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will provide an additional 22 permanent housing vouchers for individuals or families fleeing domestic violence. In addition, there are 35 new permanent housing vouchers for individuals or families.

Other awarded funding will maintain the current 174 permanent housing vouchers for individuals or families. The grant will also allow Lexington-Fayette County to comply with federal regulations such as Continuum of Care Planning and Coordinated Entry.