California Awards $100 Million to Cities, Counties and Continuums of Care to Help People Experiencing Homelessness During COVID-19 Pandemic

SACRAMENTO – California has awarded $100 million in emergency grant funding to California counties, Continuums of Care, and the state’s 13 largest cities to help protect the health and safety of people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 89, which was approved unanimously by the state Legislature. SB 89 authorized a total appropriation of up to $1 billion to provide assistance to help fight the spread of COVID-19. On March 18, 2020, Governor Newsom’s Administration allocated $100 million in emergency funding from SB 89 to local governments to help protect this vulnerable population and reduce the spread of COVID-19 by safely getting individuals into shelter and providing immediate housing options.

The Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency’s Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council sent out award letters today.

“The fast action by the legislature in approving this funding has been matched by the swift action taken by our Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to get this money out the door and to the local jurisdictions where it’s needed,” said Governor Newsom. “This is money that will be immediately available to help those who are homeless – among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.”

California’s 13 largest cities, or cities that are also a county, will receive $42,968,750, while the state’s 58 counties will receive $27,343,750 and California’s 44 Continuums of Care will receive $29,687,500. Allocations can be found here.

 The funding is intended for measures to help prevent and contain COVID-19 and can be used for medically indicated services and supplies, such as testing and hand-washing stations. It can also be used for such things as acquiring new shelters, supplies and equipment for emergency shelter operations, increasing shelter capacity, street outreach, and acquiring locations to place individuals who need to be isolated because of COVID-19 illness or exposure.

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The Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency oversees Departments, Boards and Commissions whose mission is to protect consumers by licensing and regulating California professionals and businesses; preserve, expand and fund safe and affordable housing opportunities; and protect the civil rights of all Californians.

Monica Vargas

Monica is an Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). She has been involved in the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, Valley Fire, Butte Fire, historic drought, Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, 2017 winter storms, North Bay Fires, Camp Fire, Ridgecrest Earthquake and EMAC PIO support to 2020 Puerto Rico earthquake. She previously served Cal OES as an analyst in international affairs, technology operations and executive staff support.

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