June 16, 2020

The City and County of Boulder, Local Homeless Shelters Support Congressman Joe Neguse’s CARE Act For Those Without Homes Bill

Neguse’s coronavirus homeless assistance bill would provide $11.5 billion in Emergency Solution grants to equip the homeless population amidst the pandemic

Washington D.C.—Today, Congressman Joe Neguse announced support from the City of Boulder, the Boulder County Commissioners, Attention Homes, Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and Bridge House for his legislation to equip and resource homeless communities amidst COVID-19. The CARES Act, which passed the House and was signed by the President on March 27th, provided $4 billion in Emergency Solution Grants to equip the country’s homeless population, including $22 million for the state of Colorado. Congressman Neguse is proposing an additional $11.5 billion in funding for Emergency Solution Grants, through his bill— the CARE Act for Those Without Homes. This funding could be used to purchase hotel or motel rooms for homeless individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who are otherwise at-risk, provide handwashing stations and hygiene products, and create Federal Medical Stations to care for displaced persons throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“The City of Boulder strongly supports this legislation to help the city and its partners sustain its respite center for the unhoused and other initiatives put in place to support the City’s most at-risk populations during the pandemic,” said Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver. “The respite center initiative has been a critical service to help care for one of our most vulnerable populations while reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

“This legislation will provide much-needed assistance to individuals experiencing homelessness,” said Commissioner Deb Gardner, Chair of the Boulder County Board of Commissioners. “The significant amount of additional proposed funding, as well as the provisions allowing for these funds to be used for COVID-related purposes such as temporary shelters, together will help us to better support our community. Boulder County appreciates Congressman Neguse’s efforts on this important issue.”

“Safeguarding those experiencing homelessness is the Boulder Shelter’s number one priority,” said Greg Harms, CEO of the Boulder Shelter. “Many of the individuals we serve are highly vulnerable and have compromised health systems.  Limiting their possible exposure to COVID-19 is not only a matter of their survival, but will also reduce our community’s overall risk.  We have limited ability to fulfill this mission without the additional help this bill will provide.”

“Bridge House is grateful for the leadership of Congressmen Neguse,” said Isabel McDevitt, CEO of Bridge House. “This effort recognizes the unique needs of our homeless neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic and will provide resources to help local communities mobilize immediate support for those on the streets. Over the past few months we have seen first hand the challenges for those without homes and thus the inability to safely shelter in place. This funding is fundamental to continue crucial services to mitigate virus spread for both the safety of those experiencing homelessness as well as the community at large so that we can continue to develop permanent housing strategies and other long-term solutions to address homelessness.”   

“While millions of people have been staying at home to stay safe, far too many people don't have a safe and stable place to live in order to do so.  The needs of people living on our streets are no different than our own, but those needs have too often, and for too long, been overlooked,” said Attention Homes CEO Chris Nelson. “While community organizations like Attention Homes are working hard to meet an increase in people needing support, it's imperative that the federal government also help to support people that don't have access to a safe place to sleep, health care, bathrooms and the critical hygiene support to stay healthy.  Across our country, providers that are working to end homelessness have had to adjust their programming and faced hardship due to COVID-19.  Shelter access is limited and the needs of marginalized members of our community are not being met.  With this legislation, there will be increased capacity in our communities to meet a growing and critical need.  We are in full support of this package and will continue to advocate for the rights of the unhoused.  We are deeply concerned that there will be a tidal wave of housing, food and health care insecurities in this country and hope that this legislation  is just the beginning of an effort to support communities in ensuring that episodes of homelessness are rare, brief and non-reoccurring.  Thank you Congressman Neguse, for your ongoing and actionable commitment to ALL of our community members.”