RICHMOND, Va. — As COVID-19 continues to spread through the state, Governor Ralph Northam wants to temporarily house homeless individuals in the Commonwealth.
The $2.5 million emergency funds will be used to pay for housing for 1,500 unsheltered Virginians who rely on shelters they can only stay at for one night. The money will also house individuals in shelters who may need to quarantine or where social distancing isn't possible.
Hotel and motel vouchers, case management, food, cleaning supplies and medical transportation will all be covered by the emergency funds.
“As we battle this unprecedented public health crisis, we must make sure no one is left behind,” said Governor Northam. “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.”
Homeless individuals who are 65 and older will get assistance from FEMA, including those with pre-existing conditions and those who have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) have provided guidance to homeless shelters on best practices to safely serve the homeless population during the COVID-19 epidemic.
During the crisis, eviction proceedings in all district and circuit courts have been suspended through April 26. All evictions for Housing Choice Voucher holders have also been halted for 120 days.
You can find more information on Virginia's coronavirus response efforts here.