COVID-19

Thanks to your donations, we raised over $1,500 in emergency funds for homeless service providers in the Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care (TX BoS CoC).
The funds raised provides crucial and necessary support to community organizations serving those experiencing homelessness across Texas. With this money, we can help keep these organizations running at full capacity during the COVID-19 crisis.

Looking for more ways to help?

Good Neighbor Settlement House

Corpus Christi Hope House, Inc.

 

The Salvation Army of the Coastal Bend

United Way of Denton County

Foundation Communities

  • Organization Location: Austin and North Texas
  • Social Media usernames
    • Facebook: @FoundationCommunities
    • Twitter: @foundcom
    • Instagram: @foundationcommunities
  • Foundation Communities asks those who are able to support our #ResilientResidents with a donation of any amount to our Emergency Assistance Fund. The Emergency Assistance Fund will help residents whose health or finances have been impacted to afford expenses like rent, utilities, groceries and more.
  • (Monetary Donations) – https://foundcom.org/get-involved/donate-emergency-fund/
  • Also, if you have access to any of these items please email:
If your agency has a need for donations related to COVID-19 response, please send us your information so that we can promote it on our website and social media.
Email kraig@thn.org for more information.

Homelessness & Health Preparedness

 

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. 

Several resources have been made available to help providers and systems leaders respond to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Key takeaways include:

  • Be prepared by staying informed about your local COVID-19 situation and establish relationships with public health partners in your community
  • Communicate with staff and clients about facility preparedness and policy updates for each step of Coronavirus response (i.e. modified hours, non-urgent care by telephone, etc.), and consider using social media to do so
  • Understand that the homelessness services sector workforce is impacted be flexible and responsive to modified service delivery based on staff capacity
  • Protect your workforce by screening clients, staff, and visitors for acute respiratory illness, ensuring use of personal protection equipment, and encouraging sick employees to stay home
  • Protect your clients by separating those with respiratory illnesses, and implementing prevention strategies to minimize exposure (i.e. encouraging frequent hand-washing, increased surface cleaning/disinfection, etc.)
  • Take inventory of supplies (hand soap, food, and more) and order more if necessary.

Myth Busters, WHO – This page has general posters that you can download to help dispel common myths surrounding COVID-19. 

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.

Infectious Disease Toolkit for Continuums of Care: Preventing & Managing the Spread of Infectious Disease for People Experiencing Homelessness, HUD – HUD released this document and this document is solely intended for Continuum of Care Leadership. The purpose of this document is to familiarize CoC leadership with practical skills to develop a comprehensive strategy to both prepare for and respond to a public health emergency using trauma-informed methods that minimize the impact on people experiencing homelessness. Each section provides tools and resources to operationalize the concepts into concrete, action-oriented plans that can be activated on demand. The document also includes how to engage the expertise of public health agencies, federally qualified health centers, and other healthcare partners. 

Coronavirus and Homelessness, NAEH – This resource is a web page from the National Alliance of Homelessness on resources regarding COVID-19. This resource is intended for anyone. This resource focuses on preparing for the outbreak and resources from partners on how to prepare. 

COVID Agency Response Plan, THN – This is a Preparation and Response Plan for Homeless Service Provider Agencies. This document is solely intended for Homeless Service Providers. The purpose of the document is to protect your staff, volunteers, and clients during the COVID-19 pandemic requires a coordinated effort between homeless service providers, healthcare facilities, and the health department. Use this guide to prepare your agency for how to respond if COVID-19 cases are identified.

Pandemic Planning and Services that Support People Who are Homeless, OrgCode – This is a blog from OrgCode. This blog post is intended for any homeless service provider interested in pandemic planning. This blog post is intended to stimulate discussion in your local community. This blog post from Iain De Jong includes some thoughts to help stimulate discussion in your community on pandemic planning and homelessness. A note from the blog post includes that the blog post is not medical advice and to work with local public health officials.

Creative COVID-19 Response Solutions, THN (Updated 3/25/2020)  – This is a document that was created to share Creative COVID-19 Response Solutions. This document is intended for anyone seeking creative solutions to COVID-19. One creative response includes “Shelters are opening their hygiene facilities to everyone regardless of whether they stay there.” Open this document to find 2 full pages of creative COVID-19 Response Solutions! 

Homelessness and the Response to Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreaks: Lessons from SARS, National Center for Biotechnology Information –This resource is a study from J Urban Health published in 2008. This resource is solely intended for anyone interested in learning about lessons learned from the SARS outbreak from 2002-2004. This research study focuses on Homelessness and lessons learned from SARS. This study focuses specifically on the challenge of communication, infection control, isolation and quarantine, and resource allocation. 

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. 

Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – This resource is from the CDC and is intended for the following facilities: community, non-healthcare facilities (e.g., schools, institutions of higher education, offices, daycare centers, businesses, community centers) that do and do not house persons overnight. This guidance is not intended for:  cleaning staff in healthcare facilities or repatriation sites, households, or for others for whom specific guidance already exists including overnight emergency shelters. This guidance provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of rooms or areas of those with suspected or with confirmed COVID-19 have visited.

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-19 Resources & Guidance, National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth – These resources include information on how to assist students experiencing homelessness as well as information on how schools are being affected.

Coronavirus Grant Request, No Kid Hungry – The national nonprofit is offering grants to support community nutrition programs. Submit your organization’s information to see if you’re eligible.

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.

Beyond the Food Pantry, Juvenile Law Center – Guidance on assisting youth in college that are experiencing homelessness or are in the foster care system, including strategies for housing on and off-campus and where to get food aid.

Google Drive with Resources from National ABA Homeless Commission, American Bar Association – Resources for attorneys handling eviction cases during COVID-19.

Questions and Answers about TANF and COVID-19, Office of Family Assitance – This document lays out common questions and answers concerning TANF funds and the Coronavirus. 

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. 

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.

Needed Actions from Public Health and Emergency Response Systems, NHCHC – This resource made available by the National Healthcare for the Homeless outlines the critical actions that public health authorities and emergency response systems must take to protect homeless populations from COVID-19. It also contains strategies being implemented and federal guidance that is available to assist in specific efforts.

HHSC Launches Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support LineEnglish or Spanish Flyers available- Texas Health and Human Services has launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Current Situation: Coronavirus Disease 2019 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.

Evictions during COVID-19, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid – Learn how the Texas Supreme Court’s moratorium on evictions may affect tenants and what tenants should expect from eviction proceedings at this time.

Texas Distilleries ListThis is a list of Texas distilleries who have pivoted to making hand sanitizer. Many are donating to healthcare facilities and service providers. (3/26/2020)

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. 

Access National Healthcare for the Homeless Council’s COVID-19 Resources – This resource is a web page on The National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC) which shares several COVID-19 Resources. This web page is intended for anyone looking for COVID-19 Resources. Resources included on this web page include resources from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), SchoolHouse Connection, Street Medicine Institute, Yale Program in Addiction Medicine, Local Policies and Guidance, Consumer-Specific Resources, Additional Council Resources from NHCHC and Related Research. This web page also includes the 2009 Guidance on Influenza.

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.

Infectious Disease Toolkit for Continuums of Care: Preventing & Managing the Spread of Infectious Disease within Encampments, HUD – HUD released this document and this document is solely intended for: CoC’s, CoC Board Members, Collaborative Applicants, and other homeless crisis response service providers. This document outlines the steps for CoCs to consider when working with local stakeholders to develop and implement sanitation guidelines for homeless encampments that can prevent infectious disease spread. This document is to help provide resources in the development and implementation of outreach strategies and provide practical information and precautions for street outreach workers. An example of a Sample Outreach Kit can be found on page 14 of this document. 

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 the guidance on Frequently Asked Questions for Camps and Information Cards for Street Outreach. 

Interim Guidance for Responding to COVID-19 among People Experiencing Unsheltered Homelessness, CDC – The CDC released this resource on Sunday, March 22, 2020. It outlines key actions that partners serving people experiencing unsheltered homelessness can take to protect people experiencing homelessness from the spread of COVID-19.

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 who 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 a Supportive Services for Veteran Families provider 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. 

Eligible Emergency Protective Measures, FEMA – This document provides the following guidance on the types of emergency protective measures that may be eligible under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program in accordance with the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration in order to ensure that resource constraints do not inhibit efforts to respond to this unprecedented disaster.

Mega Waiver Webinar NotesThis document has details on the waivers set out but HUD starting April 1, 2020.

Current Advocacy News:

05/29: Our Advocacy Updates

 

Statewide Initiatives staff at THN is working hard to promote policy and educate community members on the COVID-19 crisis.
Stay up-to-date on current advocacy efforts, including our work to promote racial equity amidst COVID-19 on our new Advocacy page.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Updated on 05/20 – Don’t Stop Calling
 

Keep calling Congress! While the U.S. House has passed this Act, we need to still push the U.S. Senate to pass the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act that provides $100B in emergency rental assistance to keep America’s lowest-income renters housed. Take action now and sign NLIHC’s letter today.

 
 
 
 
04/21:
 
Advocate to ensure 4th COVID-19 Stimulus Package includes major resources for homelessness. Sign on to NLIHC’s petition now and contact your Senators and Representatives today.
 

With additional funds, we ask Congress to provide more funding to:

1. More emergency solutions grants (ESG) funding to ensure homeless individuals and families are safely sheltered from COVID-19, given that their already compromised health makes them perilously vulnerable to the virus, based on the analysis cited below. ESG money would also be used to rapidly re-
house a significant fraction of homeless folks, as was done successfully during the last economic downturn, which promotes their health (to say nothing of their life prospects) and opens up new shelter spaces. Ask: $11.5 billion

2. Housing Choice Vouchers so that the elderly homeless, the disabled homeless, and the sick homeless, who are being prioritized for hotels/motels because of their unique vulnerability, don’t become homeless all over again when the pandemic recedes and the ESG money runs out. Ask: $3 billion

3. Rental assistance so that the folks benefitting from the eviction moratoria aren’t evicted because of huge collection fees and bills at the end of the moratoria. We don’t need to swell the ranks of the homelessness. Rental assistance also helps landlords and other housing providers. The amount of $100 billion is based on analysis commissioned by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which is cited below.

 
03/27:

COVID-19 Stimulus package includes major resources for homelessness!
 
This summary is from Diane Yentel, President/CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalition:
 
FINAL DEAL:
  • $4 billion in Emergency Solutions Grants to assist homeless shelters and outreach workers keep people who are homeless safer from coronavirus. 
  • $5 billion in CDBG, can be used for rental assistance 
  • Public Housing: $685 million
  • $1.25 billion in tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA)
  • $1 billion in PBRA
  • $300 million in tribal housing grants
  • $120 million for 202, 811, HOPWA
  • $2.5 million for fair housing.
  • Additional $30 billion in Disaster Relief Funds 
  • $150B in flexible funds for state/local government that can be used for, among other things, rental assistance or other housing/community development needs related to coronavirus.
MORATORIUMS:
  • 60 day moratorium on foreclosures for federally-backed mortgages by HUD, USDA, FHA, VA, Fannie, Freddie.A borrower with a federally-backed mortgage experiencing financial hardship due to coronavirus can also request a forbearance for up to 60 days, which can be extended for another 120 days at the request of the borrower.
  • Multifamily housing owners with a federally-backed mortgage can request forbearance for up to 30 days, which can be extended by another 60 days at the request of the borrower, on the condition that they agree not to evict tenants or charge tenants late fees.
  • The bill provides a moratorium on evictions for most residents of federally subsidized apartments, including HUD, USDA or Treasury (LIHTC), AND a moratorium on filings for evictions for renters in homes covered by federally-backed mortgages.
EMERGENCY SOLUTIONS GRANTS:
  • $4 billion to help prevent a coronavirus outbreak among sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness. Funds can also be used for eviction prevention assistance, including rapid rehousing.up to $2 billion must be distributed w/i 30 days according to FY20 allocations. Another $2 billion will be distributed to communities with the greatest needs, based on new criteria set by SOHUD.
  • New criteria can include risk of transmission, rates and numbers of unsheltered and sheltered homeless populations, and economic and housing market conditions. There are no match requirements for any of the new ESG money. These ESG funds can be used for temporary shelters, waiving federal habitability & environmental review standards. Funds may also be used to cover staff costs, training, and hazard pay. ESG money that’s been previously allocated can also be used for these purposes.
  • Important: none of these funds can be used to require people experiencing homelessness to receive treatment or perform any prerequisite activities as a condition for receiving shelter, housing, or other services.
 
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANTS:
  • $5 billion in CDBG funds. $2 billion will be allocated to states/locals under the FY20 formula. Another $1B will go to states & areas based on public health needs, risk of transmission, number of cases, economic/housing market disruptions.
  • The remaining $2 billion will be allocated to states and units of local government based on prevalence and risk of COVID-19 and related economic and housing disruption. SOHUD can use waiver authority to allow these $ for rental assistance.

NLIHC’s full analysis on these & other housing/homelessness/related provisions: https://t.co/NMLMtkzJvn

 
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