ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced June 9 the allocation of $2.96 billion in Emergency Solutions Grants funding to support homeless Americans and individuals at risk of becoming homeless because of hardships such as job loss, wage reduction or illness due to COVID-19. More than $57 million is going to New Jersey, with Newark receiving $5,458,961 and Essex County receiving $2,974,183.
“Homelessness was a major issue in some cities across our nation long before this pandemic occurred, and unfortunately the dire living conditions of our most vulnerable Americans left many without a home to isolate in or proper medical and health care resources to defend themselves against this invisible enemy,” Carson said. “As we continued to monitor the effects of COVID-19 in at-risk communities, the department and our partners worked quickly to respond to outbreaks and minimize the spread from hotspots to other locations. This increased funding to help provide for our homeless will make a difference now as we combat the coronavirus and inform long-term, innovative solutions for addressing homelessness in the future.”
“The Garden State, the joint-epicenter of this deadly virus, will receive over $57 million in this round of funding. This makes over $211 million available to New Jersey, to date, to fight this invisible enemy,” said Lynne Patton, HUD regional administrator for New York and New Jersey.
This latest round of funding 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 and 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 and transportation; and prevent individuals from becoming homeless and rapidly rehouse homeless individuals.