MN Transition Coalition - COVID-19 and homelessness

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To: Interested parties

From: DOC Community Stability Team (Kate Erickson, Christen Donley & Alisha Lacina)

Re: COVID-19 and homelessness

Date: March 26, 2020

The Office to Prevent and End Homelessness provided guidance to the homeless service system partners on pandemic planning and resources to support community providers.  Homelessness and housing instability is a significant issue for many individuals on correctional supervision, and in the face of COVID-19, access and availability of these resources will pose a great challenge.  In order to support the great work across the corrections system, the DOC Community Stability team will work to stay informed of service adjustments and resource development. 

Link to Heading Home (lists all the COVID-19 updates for homeless)

Executive Order 20-14 suspends all residential tenant evictions, notices-to-vacate, and writs of recovery during the peacetime emergency:

If an individual is homeless and not connected to community services: Minnesota Department of Health - 651-201-5414 is the number individuals call if they are homeless and have no case manager or community support.  The State Homeless Team has provided a list of critical resources to MDH to pass along to those who call for help.

Additional resources are on the way:

$49.2 Million in state aid to support for shelters, outreach workers and build isolation capacity.  Funds will be used to support:

  • Emergency shelter, PPE and staff needs, family assistance programming as well as for veterans
  • Hygiene, sanitation, additional shelter beds, hotel/motel locations, staff and medical staff.
  • Trying to get funding out the door quickly – committed to get the money to help out swiftly.
  • Legislature will meet on March 26 further drill down on resources

Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless Facebook or twitter page allows people to send a message to their senator through one click to support the need for these resources.

Symptom Alert System: Shelters will use this track symptoms - track all signs and symptoms of COVID-19 as well as deaths. (This does not require a positive COVID test.)

Q & A

  1. Are domestic violence shelters eligible for programming? A. Yes
  2. How does shelter in place effect those that shelter in hotels? A. Individuals are still considered homeless and are exempt from shelter in place language.
  3. If they don’t have case managers, what should they do? Local public health will need to coordinate a response and assistance.
  4. Sex trafficking victims –are they eligible for funding? A. Yes