Governor Wolf Announces New Funding Available to Protect Homeless Pennsylvanians During COVID-19 Resurgence

Governor Tom Wolf announced that nearly $20 million is now available to assist Pennsylvanians currently experiencing homelessness. The commonwealth received its second allocation of federal COVID-19 Homeless Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG-CV) funds, and the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has set aside a portion of those funds to be used toward emergency shelter in preparation for the winter months 2020-21.

“As winter quickly approaches, Pennsylvania is bracing for a surge in COVID-19 cases, all while continuing its usual work of providing shelter and services to those who are homeless,” said Gov. Wolf. “As we expect to see an increase in the rate of cases, we are also expecting to see a decrease in the amount of volunteers and resources this winter. This funding will help provide the tools that communities need to protect their residents, providing them safe shelter and preventing the spread of coronavirus further.”

Under a new grant program called ESG-CV Code Blue, applicants may apply for funding for emergency shelter and temporary emergency shelter to expand shelter for those experiencing homelessness. The program will prioritize the use of these funds to assist homeless providers and communities prepare for, prevent the spread of and respond to COVID-19 through the use of emergency shelter and temporary emergency shelter components.

The funds may be used for any single activity or combination of eligible activities as outlined below and address the priorities and any published supplemental requirements of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in order to prepare for, prevent the spread of and respond to COVID-19.

Emergency Shelter:
  • Emergency Shelter Operations
  • Emergency Shelter Essential Services
  • Emergency Shelter Hazard Pay
  • Emergency Shelter Renovation
Temporary Shelter:
  • Essential Services
  • Operations
  • Leasing existing property or temporary structures
  • Acquisition
  • Renovation
Street Outreach:
  • Essential Services
  • Case Management
  • Street Outreach Hazard Pay
Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)
Administration (subgrantees may request up to 6% for administration)

The minimum grant amount awarded will be $15,000 and there is no maximum grant amount. All funds awarded must be used by April 1, 2021. The application window will be open until November 16, 2020, and program guidelines can be found here.

Another request for proposals, which will include all eligible ESG-CV activities, will be released in the beginning of 2021.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should follow the Pennsylvania Department of Health website.