Board Action Request
Allocate $1,000,000 CARES Act to provide staffing at non-congregate shelter sites for people who are experiencing homelessness in compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions, 10/10/20–12/30/20; Agmts to provide staffing at non-congregate care sites for people experiencing homelessness - HS00000657 with Catholic Charities, 10/01/20–08/31/21, NTE $775,000; HS00000644 with Primus Inc, 10/01/20–08/31/21, NTE $2,930,000
BE IT RESOLVED, that the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners hereby allocates $1,000,000 of its federal funding from the Coronavirus Relief Fund available under section 601(a) of the Social Security Act, as added by section 5001 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to provide staffing at non-congregate shelter sites for people who are experiencing homelessness in compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions, during the period of October 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Agreement HS00000657 with Catholic Charities to provide staffing at non-congregate care sites for people experiencing homelessness who are COVID-19 positive or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and awaiting test results, during the period of October 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021, with the amount not to exceed $775,000 be approved; that the Chair of the Board be authorized to sign the agreement on behalf of the county; and that the Controller be authorized to disburse the funds as directed.;and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Agreement HS000006644 with Primus Incorporated to provide staffing at non-congregate care sites for people experiencing homelessness who are at high-risk for developing complications due to COVID-19, during the period of October 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021, with the amount not to exceed $2,930,000 be approved; that the Chair of the Board be authorized to sign the agreement on behalf of the county; and that the Controller be authorized to disburse the funds as directed.
Section 601(a) of the Social Security Act, as added by section 5001 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), established the Coronavirus Relief Fund (the “Fund”) and appropriated $150 billion to the Fund. Under the CARES Act, the Fund is to be used to make payments for specified uses to States and certain local governments; the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories; and Tribal governments. Hennepin County received a direct payment out of the Fund from the U.S. Treasury.
The CARES Act provides that money from the Fund may only be used to cover costs that:
- are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19);
- were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government; and
- were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020 and ends on December 30, 2020.
The available guidance from the U.S. Department of the Treasury provides examples of eligible expenditures, including expenses for quarantining individuals; expenses for care for homeless populations provided to mitigate COVID19 effects and enable compliance with COVID19 public health precautions; and expenses associated with the provision of economic support in connection with the COVID19 emergency.
Hennepin County began leasing out local hotel rooms in March as protective housing for homeless adults with underlying health conditions, as a proactive measure to prevent the sort of largescale COVID19 outbreaks that have devastated homeless populations in other cities, including Boston, New York and San Francisco. This temporary hotel housing was expanded to additional homeless adults, in order to reduce population by more than 50% at the county’s largest shelters, which are considered fertile territory for the transmission of the virus. Units include temporary housing for people in congregate shelter settings without capacity to self-quarantine in order to follow CDC recommendations for mitigation, and temporary housing for people in congregate shelter settings who have COVID like symptoms or who are COVID positive and who cannot provide their own spaces to self-isolate in order to follow CDC recommendations. Hotels have been operated by county employees who set aside their usual work to support the response along with limited-duration county employees hired to support the COVID19 response, AmeriCorps members, community partners and other volunteers.
This action seeks approval of funding and agreements with two providers, Catholic Charities and Primus Incorporated, that will provide for the day-to-day operation of non-congregate shelter sites including staffing, food provision, environmental cleaning and other individual support. CARES funding will be used to pay for these services to the extent eligible; the current statutory deadline for use of CARES funding is December 30, 2020.
These providers will ensure that protocols are in place according to public health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID19 at the non-congregate shelter site. They will also work with Hennepin County Healthcare for the Homeless and other health care providers to support individuals’ health needs and coordinate with the County and community housing teams and community service provider to secure permanent housing.
|Recommendation from County Administrator: Recommend Approval|