Emergency shelters operate on lean budgets and are struggling to meet basic needs while trying to prevent the spread of the virus. Our recent report found the vast majority of Ohio’s shelters don’t have enough basic supplies, like diapers, thermometers, cleaning products, cold medicine, hand sanitizer, and soap. They lack crucial space to isolate and quarantine symptomatic clients. They’re struggling with staffing shortages when older employees and parents can’t come to work.
Federal funding is on the way, but it won’t reach Ohio’s homeless shelters until mid-May at the earliest. We can’t wait! Some residents have already tested positive, and shelters desperately need to deconcentrate their facilities now.
COHHIO created the Pandemic Emergency Fund with $500,000 from our own reserves to help local homeless agencies get what they need to provide immediate stopgap assistance to help shelters stop the spread of COVID-19. COHHIO is working with Ohio’s regional homeless systems (continuums of care) to direct 100% of donations to local homeless agencies that desperately need funding to reduce their population density and continue operating safely.