Giving Compass' Take:

• Kristi Schulenberg urges people to begin planning to implement the CARES Act to protect people struggling from homelessness.

• What are the benefits of the CARES act? How can you work to support a framework to combat homelessness and coronavirus in your community?

• Learn more about the importance of nonprofits and what you can do to help throughout the pandemic.

Communities all over the country are anxiously awaiting federal resources from the CARES Act to begin flowing. As the Alliance has addressed in previous blog posts , these funds are desperately needed for those working to end homelessness. While they may be short of what researchers estimate we  actually need  to appropriately shelter and house everyone who needs it during this emergency, the fact remains that these resources  can  have an enormous impact on the lives of vulnerable people experiencing homelessness, if we make plans to use them strategically.

That’s a big challenge, because we are all working in crisis mode right now. And as we all know, it is tempting during a crisis, to put our heads down and focus our efforts on our  immediate needs, rather than planning ahead. In fact, it’s a natural thing to do.

But if there’s one thing we need everyone to understand, it is that we must invest the time now – right now, right this moment, and not a day later – to start planning on how we can best use these funds to serve people through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first step in this process is to determine your priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alliance’s framework involves five key areas that every community should be centering their efforts around:

  1. Preventing and diverting people from imminent homelessness
  2. Promoting  the health and safety of people who are unsheltered, while quickly transitioning them to temporary or permanent housing
  3. Expanding and improving shelter options to come into compliance with CDC guidance for separation, isolation, and quarantine.
  4. Stabilizing households in homeless system-funded programs like Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) and Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)
  5. Rapidly exiting people from the homelessness system into housing

Read the full article about the CARES act by Kristi Schulenberg at the National Alliance to End Homelessness.