COVID-19

COVID-19 Information & Resources

Texas Homeless Network cares about the health of you and your community. We recognize the seriousness of this pandemic for people experiencing homelessness, or those who are living in poverty, who have higher risks of exposure to infectious disease, have a harder time accessing high-quality healthcare, and are often overlooked during emergencies. In an effort to help, we have compiled a list of resources to assist in service provider’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic from our federal partners at HUD and local agencies we work with here at THN. 
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

COVID-19 Resources for Individuals

While Texas Homeless Network does not work directly with individuals, we strive to provide information for our service providers to utilize with their clients. In addition, if you are an individual seeking help, we hope the resources listed will be of help to you. Finding the Right Help During the COVID-19 Outbreak can be a helpful tool to overview government benefits such as unemployment resources and healthcare coverage as well as resources for businesses and families. In addition, FindHelp.org is another tool to search by your zip code for services.

Housing & Eviction Resources

      • THN County & Statewide Emergency Rental Assistance Program List This is a google sheet that THN upkeeps to the best of our ability of current emergency rental assistance programs. If you do not see your country listed, please reach out to us.
      • Texas Rent Relief The Texas Rent Relief Program is here to help. COVID-19 has affected Texans across the state. We have emergency funds available to help Texas renters pay rent and utility bills (including past due rent and utilities).
      • Texas Rent Relief Program webinarThe Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) provides webinars every Friday at 12-noon Central time regarding the Texas Rent Relief Program. This is an opportunity to learn about the program and ask questions. This particular webinar was held on February 26, 2021.
      • Texas Eviction Diversion ProgramApply to the Texas Eviction Diversion Program to help you stay in your home. 
      • Texas Rio Grande Legal AidThe website provides legal aid and resource materials for topics from evictions, public benefits, immigration, and more. TRLA provides legal services to people in 68 counties. Use the map on their website to find out if your legal problem is in the Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) service area.
      • Eviction Moraoritum FAQ for renters
      • Renters Rights

Healthcare Resources

        • COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line [Spanish Flyer] – Call the toll-free COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line at 833-986-1919. Ran by the Texas Health and Human Services, the hotline is a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress, or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
        • Virtual AA/NA Meetings, American Addiction Centers – If you didn’t know, those with substance abuse disorders may be vulnerable to the effects of the Coronavirus on respiratory and pulmonary systems. Like other progressive and chronic conditions, addiction doesn’t always align with life events, such as the coronavirus.
        • How to Find a State-Funded Rehab Center, American Addiction Centers – For individuals or loved ones struggling with drug or alcohol addiction who have limited resources to pay for treatment is an option. State-funded programs may be an affordable option to get started on the road to recovery.

General Resources

COVID-19 Resources for Homeless-Serving Agencies

  • Disease and Risks and Homelessness, HUD –  HUD created this webpage intended for all agencies providing services to those experiencing homelessness. This webpage provides research, tools, and guidance for homeless service providers looking to prevent and treat communicable diseases, as well as resources for people experiencing homelessness to access local health care centers.
  • Rural Response to COVID-19, Rural Health Information Hub –This web page is from the Rural Health Information Hub. This web page is intended solely for providers in rural communities. This guide will help you learn about activities underway to address COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This web page also includes an Emergency Preparedness Guide for communication planning tools to reach rural communities.
  • COVID-19 Communication Resource Videos, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – This resource is a web page with Videos from the CDC and is intended for all audiences interested in CDC resource videos. A few of the videos on this page include 6 Steps to Prevent COVID-19, Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019, CDC Briefing Updates, etc.
  • COVID NACC Resource Hub, National Association of Counsel for Children – A compilation of national resources and factsheets for attorneys serving foster youth and children during COVID-19, including sample attorney response protocols.
  • Finding the Right Help During the COVID-19 Outbreak, Benefits.gov – This document can help find helpful information on government benefits such as unemployment resources and healthcare coverage as well as resources for businesses and families.
  • Current Situation: Coronavirus Disease COVID-19, Texas Dept. of State Health Services – This website includes resources from the Department of State Health Services of Texas. The website is solely intended for anyone interested in information from The Department of State Health Services and COVID-19. Information includes: what to do if you are sick, testing information, symptoms and prevention tips to help the Department of State Health Services share facts, not fear.
  • Texas Local Health Entities, Texas Dept. of State Health Services – This Texas Department of State Services website includes information on Local Health Agencies across the state of Texas. Counties and their Public Health information are included on this website. Information includes: Director and Phone Number, some entities also list their website.
  • TNOYS Emergency Response resource Center, Texas Network of Youth Services – Information for youth service providers and first responders on how to keep youth and families safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Best Practices for State and Local Emergency Rental Assistance Programs (Jan 2021) – This document outlines key considerations and answers frequently asked questions for states and local jurisdictions as they plan to distribute the $25 billion in emergency rental assistance. 
  • COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance: Analysis of a National Survey of Programs (Jan 2021) – Developed in partnership with the Housing Initiative at Penn and NYU Furman Center, provides an analysis of key emergency rental assistance program design and implementation decisions from a national survey of over 200 program administrators. The report examines program decisions against program challenges and outcome metrics.
  • Emergency Rental Assistance Programs in Response to COVID-19 (Oct 2020) – Provides a descriptive analysis of over 440 rental assistance programs created or expanded in response to COVID-19 as of October 2020. The analysis provides insight into how programs are funded, designed, and implemented. 
  • COVID-19 Client Screening Tool: English and SpanishThis resource focuses on how to effectively identify those individuals showing/experiencing symptoms.
  • Interim Guidance for Homeless Shelters, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  – This resource is from the CDC and is intended for Homeless Shelters. This document includes recommendations for homeless service providers about how to protect their staff, clients, and guests. The CDC plans to update this resource as more information is known about COVID-19.
  • Resources for Homeless Shelters, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – This resource is from the CDC and is intended for Homeless Shelters. This page has two resources, one resource on the Interim Guidance for Homeless Shelters and another resource on Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations for Homeless Shelters.
  • Infectious Disease Toolkit for Continuums of Care: Preventing & Managing the Spread of Infectious Disease Within Shelters, HUD – HUD released this document and this document is solely intended for Homeless Shelters. This document focuses on developing and implementing sanitation guidelines within the emergency shelter system to prevent and address the spread of infectious disease. Sample Checklists begin on page 15 and include General Sanitation Checklist for Shelters, Operational Checklist Example: Staff and Shift Assignments for Kitchen, Daily and Weekly Cleaning Schedule Checklist and Food Safety Checklist.
  • COVID-19 Information for Homeless Shelters and Homeless Service Providers, National Health Care for the Homeless Council – This document is from the National Health Care for The Homeless Council on COVID-19. This document is solely intended for Homeless Shelters and Homeless Service Providers. This document includes a short easy to read 4-page document with icons, color, and a few words. Information on this document includes Symptom information, Who is Most at Risk, How Does it Spread, How to Protect Yourself and Others, How to Care for the Sick, How to Care for Yourself, and Severe Symptoms.
  • What Supportive Housing Providers Need to Know, CSH – This resource was created by CSH, CSH is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to provide training and technical assistance to health centers and supportive housing providers looking to partner to serve vulnerable frequent users of health systems. CSH created this resource solely for Supportive Housing Providers. This document includes guidance for Residents, Staff, Agency, and Affordable Housing Providers and Property Managers.
  • Steps Healthcare Facilities Can Take Now to Prepare for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – This resource is from the CDC and is intended for Healthcare Facilities. This resource is to provide guidance on how Healthcare Facilities can take steps to prepare for COVID-19. This resource focuses on steps Healthcare Facilities can take to protect both their staff and patients during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Public and Indian Housing COVID-19 Resources, HUD – This webpage by the Department of Public and Indian Housing contains resources, particularly Frequency Asked Questions, for Public Housing Authorities.
  • Alternate Care Sites and Isolation Sites, CDC – This resource made available by the CDC provides guidance regarding isolation sites, particularly critical infection prevention and control considerations for isolation sites.
  • Guidance for People Experiencing Homelessness Without Shelter, Mulnomah County – This guidance is solely intended for providers who serve people experiencing homelessness without shelter. This guidance includes short and ready-to-read guidance on Frequently Asked Questions for Camps and Information Cards for Street Outreach.
  • Essential Services for Encampments During an Infectious Disease Outbreak, HUD – HUD released this resource on Monday, March 23, 2020. This resource is primarily for agencies that focus on un-sheltered homelessness. This resource includes Essential Services for Encampments During an Infectious Disease Outbreak. This resource includes guidance on sanitation and safety, assess to food and water and guidance on service coordination. 

Continuum of Care (CoC) Resources 

  • Using Continuum of Care Program Funds for Infection Disease Preparedness and Response, HUD – HUD created this resource page and this document is solely intended for agencies that received Continuum of Care Program Funds. This document was created for agencies to understand the kinds of activities that are covered under specific component types. The document contains information about eligible costs to support infectious disease preparedness and response activities and the program component or line item that may be charged. 

Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Resources

  • Eligible ESG Program Costs for Infectious Disease Preparedness, HUD – This document includes eligible program costs for infectious disease preparedness for ESG funded agencies. This document is solely intended for Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Funded Agencies. ESG Program subrecipients may use ESG Street Outreach and Emergency Shelter funds for essential supplies and services to reduce the spread of infectious disease in their programs.

Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Resources

  • SSVF Partner Agency Map – This map shows counties in the Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care that have Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Rapid Re-housing and Homelessness Prevention Funds. This map is solely intended for those seeking to find out if there are Supportive Services for Veteran Families providers in their community.
  • SSVF Response to COVID-19 Response, U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs – This web page includes information on the current SSVF response to COVID 19. This document is solely intended for agencies who are SSVF funded agencies or for those who work with SSVF funded agencies. This web page includes the following guidance “For the next 30 days beginning March 17, SSVF will be modifying guidance it provides to grantees around temporary housing placements. For more information please see the VA Memo on the SSVF web page. 

Texas Division of Emergency Management/FEMA

  • Request for Public Assistance for DR-4485-TX  – On March 25, the President issued a statewide major disaster declaration for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).  The FEMA designation for this is DR-4485. This opens up funding through FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) program for reimbursement for emergency protective measures.
  • Mega Waiver Webinar NotesThis document has details on the waivers set out but HUD starting April 1, 2020.

COVID-19 Mask Distribution

Over the course of 2020, THN has been working hard in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the many ways we are supporting our communities is coordinating mask donations around our state, totaling over 10,000 masks sent to over 35 agencies across Texas. While we know this is a small drop in the bucket of necessities required to face this crisis, we are grateful for every bit we can do to make our neighbor’s lives a little safer and a little better.

Thank you to our partners who made it possible! 

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Current Advocacy News:

06/30: COVID-19 Advocacy Updates

If you work for an agency or organization around the state, we need your help!

Fill out the form here to add your organization to the following two letters to Congress:

1. A letter urging Congress to include the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act (S. 3685H.R. 6820) in any comprehensive coronavirus relief package. This bill introduced by Senator Brown (D-OH) and Representatives Heck (D-WA) and Waters (D-CA) provides $100 billion in emergency rental assistance to help keep America’s lowest-income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, low-wage workers, and others stably housed during this crisis. (Click here to learn more about this bill.)

2. A letter urging Congress to immediately enact the critical housing investments and protections included in the “Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act.”

Thank you to those who have signed the letter in support of the rental assistance bill in Texas:
    1. Accessible Housing Resources, Inc.
    2. Bell County Indigent Health Care
    3. Coastal Bend Center for Independent Living
    4. East Texas Aging and Disability Resource Center
    5. El Paso Coalition for the Homeless
    6. Ending Community Homelessness Organization
    7. Family Promise of Irving
    8. Housing Opportunities of Fort Worth, Inc.
    9. Keller Williams Arlington
    10. New Hope Housing, Inc.
    11. NID Cooksey
    12. NID Housing Counseling Agency Dightman
    13. RESULTS Dallas Global
    14. Texas Homeless Network
    15. Texas Housers
    16. Texas Tenants’ Union
    17. The Beacon
    18. United Way of Lamar County
And thank you to all the Texas signers for the letter to the Senate asking them to immediately enact the housing provisions from the HEROES Act:
    1. Texas Tenants’ Union
    2. Accessible Housing Resources, Inc.
    3. East Texas Aging and Disability Resource Center
    4. Ending Community Homelessness Organization
    5. Family Promise of Irving
    6. Housing Opportunities of Fort Worth, Inc.
    7. RESULTS Dallas Global
    8. Texas Homeless Network
    9. Texas Housers
    10. United Way of Lamar County
Stay up-to-date on current advocacy efforts amidst COVID-19 on our new Advocacy page.
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