CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded about $243,000 in grants for three homeless programs in Wyoming.

The money will be used to support housing efforts in Casper and Gillette and help fund a statewide initiative to track data on Wyoming's homeless population.

Mary Randolph with the Wyoming Homeless Collaborative tells the Associated Press that the state's homeless population has risen recently.

HUD estimates there were 1,813 homeless people in Wyoming in 2012, a 74.7 percent increase from the previous year.

The money was part of $1.54 billion awarded throughout the country by HUD.

HUD's Rocky Mountain regional administrator, Rick M. Garcia, says the Obama administration sees the need to fund homeless programs despite federal budget cuts elsewhere.