By: Sophia Checa
Did you know your community is eligible for funding under the Coronavirus Relief Fund? Did you know Texas received $11.24 billion? While $3.24 billion went directly to the 18 areas with populations over 500,000, Texas received $8 billion to be distributed across the rest of the state. Did you know as of June 30, 2020, only 10.4% of the payment to the State has been spent?
The CARES Act established the Coronavirus Relief Fund and appropriated $150 billion to the Fund. The purpose of this funding is to allow governments to respond directly to the emergency.
It is important to mention that these funds cannot be utilized for expenses that have been or will be reimbursed by any federal program, such as Emergency Solutions Grant – CARES Act funding.
You might now be wondering how is the funding getting disbursed and how can people experiencing homelessness and advocates, including service providers, come together to request funds to serve people experiencing homelessness in your area.
For areas with populations less than 500,000, two things are happening:
Why am I writing this blog post? To educate you about the fund and encourage you to reach out to your local official to ask them how they are using this funding to serve people experiencing homelessness. I’ve spoken with a lot of providers in the Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care, who want to do something but do not know where to get the money. This is an answer. Organize people experiencing homelessness and service providers to make a collective and clear ask for funding through the fund. Make calls. Send emails. Ask about it at City Council or County Commissioner Meetings. As y’all saw above, this money can, and should, go to supporting the work service providers are doing to prepare, prevent, and respond to COVID-19 among people experiencing homelessness.
Here are additional resources:
If you are in the Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care and want to talk about this, please email me at email@example.com.