Sending Office: Honorable Ayanna Pressley
The COVID-19 pandemic has left the nation facing unprecedented public health and economic crises that has exacerbated underlying inequalities and devastated those already living on the margins. Individuals and families experiencing homelessness are particularly
vulnerable to the effects of this crisis. Lacking both safe, stable shelter and access to medical resources, those experiencing homelessness continue to be hardest hit by this pandemic.
On any given night, half a million people in the United States will face homelessness. This includes more than 50,000 families with children, who often turn to emergency shelters for housing. These congregate settings can accelerate the spread of COVID-19,
particularly among a population disproportionately more likely to have underlying health conditions. These vulnerabilities put both those experiencing homelessness and our frontline healthcare and human services workers at higher risk.
While the CARES Act provided an initial $4 billion in ESG funds, much more funding is needed. In response to these needs, we are championing the
Public Health Emergency Shelter Act to provide critical funding to states and local governments battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Public Health Emergency Shelter Act would:
- Invest a total of $15.5 billion in Emergency Solutions Grants under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
to support state, county and local efforts to protect our neighbors experiencing homelessness and the frontline providers that are serving the homeless community during this public health crisis.
- Grant funds may also be used to:
- Train frontline staff on infectious disease prevention and mitigation;
- Provide hazard pay for frontline workers working around the clock to support those experiencing homelessness during this crisis, including allowing funding to be used to provide retroactive pay for hours already worked;
- Reimburse local frontline providers for costs incurred associated with the prevention and mitigation of COVID-19.
Support for those in our communities without shelter ensures the health and safety of us all. We urge you to join us in this goal by cosponsoring the Public Health Emergency Shelter Act.
Ayanna Pressley Joe Neguse
Member of Congress Member of Congress
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