VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The City of Virginia Beach received approximately $78.5 million in total pandemic funding through the CARES Act, according to officials with the city's Budget and Management Services.
Of that, the city now has an unexpended reserve budget of more than $8 million. That's between the City Council Reserve, the City Manager Pandemic Reserve, and the Vaccinate Virginia Beach Reserve highlighted in last week's City Manager's Friday packet.
Budget and Management Services Director Kevin Chatellier told 13News Now that the funding helped VB operate through the pandemic, using that funding on but not limited to:
- Personal protective equipment
- Modification of Public Health facilities
- Organizing small business grants
- Hazard pay to first responders
- Vaccinate VB
Chatellier says the remainder of what's left is now at the discretion of City Council.
The millions of dollars in funding also helped fund "VB Relief," a joint effort between several Hampton Roads organizations that created a resource for people financially navigating the COVID-pandemic.
Kelsey Mohring, Vice President of Marketing & Strategy with United Way of South Hampton Roads, explained that while VB Relief does not get directly receive CARES Act funding, it helped establish financial assistance programs in place since VB Relief began work in November.
In the same Friday packet, VB Relief shared that in the month of June alone, they'd financially assisted more than 500 households while taking in more than 1,300 requests for assistance.
“Just because it feels like normal, things are reopening and people are back at work, the need hasn’t decreased," Mohring told 13News Now on Monday.
According to Mohring, more than 8,000 households have received assistance through VB Relief totaling more than $6 million in funding since starting.
“We still have families struggling to make ends meet, a lot of people struggling prior is now just exacerbated. A lot of people take in debt just to pay for things.”
Those looking for pandemic-related assistance can visit vbrelief.org