More than $85 million in CARES Act funding will be used to address homelessness and housing instability in the Sunshine State, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday.
The funds, which will be received in two payments, will go toward emergency shelter support, rental assistance and street outreach programs that connect Floridians to various essential services.
The first disbursement will total $20 million while the second will total $65 million.
“As Governor, I am committed to ensuring Floridians, no matter their circumstances, have the resources they need to succeed,” DeSantis said. “This federal funding will ensure those experiencing homelessness have the necessary level of support and can access the wraparound services they need to get back on their feet and begin or continue on their journey to economic stability and independence.”
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) will administer the grant and serve as the single point of government contact, a news release said.
“I’m grateful for this federal funding and Governor DeSantis’ support, which together, will allow the Continuums of Care to expand the important work they’re doing in communities throughout Florida,” said DCF Secretary Chad Poppell. “I look forward to seeing the impact their efforts will have on individuals and families who are working hard and taking next steps to achieve economic self-sufficiency.”
The money comes from a $2.9 billion allotment given in March 2020 to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for disbursement.
DCF will award shares of the fund to the 27 Continuums of Care and other agencies serving the homeless population in Florida.
More information on DCF’s Homelessness Program and a list of Continuum of Care Lead Agencies can be found online.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, roughly 28,328 experiencing homelessness on any given day as of January 2019.
Homeless populations are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 exposure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.