Four local organizations that deal with people experiencing homelessness are expected to receive grant money to help with the impacts of the novel coronavirus.
The Frederick aldermen are scheduled to consider approval Thursday evening of a federal grant that would give $305,000 to be divided among the Frederick Community Action Agency, Heartly House, the Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs, and Advocates for Homeless Families.
The money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will go to help the organizations “prevent, prepare for, and respond to the novel coronavirus,” according to a city staff report on the agenda item.
Most of the more than $40,000 that Heartly House is scheduled to receive will go toward rental assistance for people who looking to escape domestic violence situations, said Inga James, the group's president and executive director.
Heartly House runs a 45-day shelter for families escaping domestic violence, and when people leave, the organization helps them financially for up to six months, she said.
The group is also requesting money from the county to help with providing hotel placements.
With the impacts of the coronavirus and the need for adequate social distancing, Heartly House currently has three families in its shelter and three in hotels, James said.
The Community Action Agency's money will be used for housing stabilization and rental assistance services, short-term rental assistance, emergency hotel placements, personal protective equipment supplies, and food and transportation for people experiencing homelessness, said Janet Jones, the agency's interim director.
The Religious Coalition and Advocates for Homeless Families did not respond to requests for comment.
The grant money is an increase of a grant of more than $500,000 from HUD received in 2019 to help people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.