Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said Friday that an initial $2.5 million in emergency funding will be provided to shelter Virginia’s statewide homeless population during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a release from the governor's office, this emergency support will provide temporary housing for the approximately 1,500 Virginians who are currently unsheltered or rely on shelters that require them to leave every day.
The funding will also provide housing for individuals in shelters that may need to be quarantined, or where social distancing is not feasible.
“As we battle this unprecedented public health crisis, we must make sure no one is left behind,” Northam said. “I have issued a statewide Stay at Home order, but we know there are many Virginians with no home to stay in. With this funding, we will ensure people experiencing homelessness have access to immediate housing options and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
According to the governor's office, funds will be used for hotel and motel vouchers, case management, food, cleaning supplies and medical transportation. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will also provide partial funding to support individuals experiencing homelessness who are 65 and older, those with other pre-existing conditions, and those who have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is also preparing additional housing options for an estimated 10 percent of the 3,890 Virginians currently in shelters to allow space for social distancing and safe quarantine practices as needed.
To learn more about the state's response to the novel coronavirus, click here.