ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—New Mexico has been awarded more than $8 million to boost the efforts of dozens of local homeless housing and service programs.

The grant funding comes from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan says there's evidence that every dollar spent on programs to help find stable homes for the homeless ends up saving lives and money.

The grants are awarded competitively to local projects to meet the needs of homeless clients. They fund a variety of programs, from street outreach and assessments to transitional and permanent housing programs.

The grants awarded this week weren't affected by the automatic federal budget cuts, but officials say future cuts could reverse recent positive trends.

In New Mexico, federal officials say local communities reported a 9.9 percent overall drop in homelessness in 2012.