CARES Act provides $3.5 million for area homeless

Opening Doors Northwest Florida has received the green light to administer the Emergency Solutions Grant Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act award provided by the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families, Office on Homelessness, in the amount of $3,500,652.

Opening Doors, the Selection Committee and several non-profit agencies have formed a coordinated plan to respond to this opportunity. The plan will stand up critical services over the next 12 months to bring relief to hurting families and individuals that have been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus.

Using a scoring application, community agencies were chosen based on capacity, need, past collaboration, and experience. The CARES Act provides funding in five areas.

1) Street Outreach (engage, support, and refer the homeless living on the streets to housing, mental health, health care, and other immediate services to minimize the trauma of living on the streets)
2) Emergency Shelter (will be used to temporarily shelter homeless men, women, and families)
3) Homeless Prevention (prevent evictions by paying arrearages so that individuals and families reman housed)
4) Rapid Rehousing (will be used to provide 1st month’s rent/deposit/utilities/arrearages)
5) Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) (will be used to collect information and report outcomes)

The CARES funding will enable our subawardees to respond to the devastating impact of COVID-19. The resources will energize critical initiatives that will help prevent and combat homelessness in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties.

The launch is planned for July 6. The end date of the grant is June 30, 2022, for HMIS, Street Outreach, Rapid Rehousing, and Homeless Prevention. Temporary Emergency Shelter and Emergency Shelter operations will end January 31, 2022.