Rep. TJ Cox announces $11.6 million to fight COVID-19 and homelessness in Valley

Rep. TJ Cox
Rep. TJ Cox
The Leader File Photo

Congressman TJ Cox announced this week the allocation of $11.6 million in Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) funding to support Americans experiencing homelessness in the Central Valley.

This funding, coming from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will also be used to help individuals at risk of becoming homeless because of hardships such as job loss, wage reduction, or illness due to COVID-19. This funding is in addition to the $1 billion of ESG grants announced after the passing of the CARES Act by Congress.  

Bakersfield County will receive roughly $3.5 million, Fresno County $3.4 million, and Kern County $4.7 million in allocated funding which can be used to:      

  • Make more emergency shelters available for homeless individuals and families, 
  • Operate emergency shelters by providing food, rent, security, maintenance, repair, fuel, equipment, insurance, utilities, furnishings, and supplies necessary for their operation,  
  • Provide Hotel/Motel Vouchers for homeless families and individuals, 
  • Provide essential services to people experiencing homelessness including childcare, education services, employment assistance, outpatient health services, legal services, mental health services, substance abuse treatment services, transportation, and  
  • Prevent individuals from becoming homeless and rapidly rehouse homeless individuals. 
“Homelessness was a big issue in the Central Valley before the pandemic, and this crisis has made it significantly worse,” said Rep. TJ Cox. “Now, many working families are facing the grim reality of losing their homes, and the CARES Act, which we passed in March, is proving to be a lifeline keeping them off the street.” 

Congress provided $4 billion for HUD’s ESG program for local governments to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus among individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness, receiving homeless assistance, or are at risk of becoming homeless. In total, HUD has allocated $3.96 billion in ESG funding to impacted communities in every U.S. state and territory, and the remainder $40 million is being utilized to provide technical assistance to build the capacity of grantees in those communities receiving ESG funding. 

You can read the full report on state funding by HUD here.  

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