Outbreak Response Funding
The Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) has Federal Fiscal Recovery Funds available to support rapid responses to outbreaks in shelters and other temporary congregate settings for people experiencing homelessness or domestic violence. OEO will be working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to allocate available funding for targeted, immediate outbreak response activities to support an effective response and reduce the health impacts for shelter guests and staff.
Initially, funding will available to situations that meet these qualifications:
- Operating a congregate shelter or temporary congregate settings that serves people experiencing homelessness, including survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, and/or human trafficking with one or more of the following characteristics: shared bedrooms/sleeping areas, bathrooms, or dining areas, and
- The applicant for funds is a nonprofit, local unit of government, or Tribal Nation.
Due to the increasing spread and high rates of transmission of Omicron, funding is now available to any congregate setting serving people experiencing homelessness. We will assume all shelters have or will have active COVID cases due to Omicron projections.
If you meet these thresholds, you are eligible to apply for outbreak funding. Surveys will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.
The survey does not allow you to save your responses. You can view a full list of the survey questions here to prepare your responses. To help you walk through the survey logic, you can also view a flowchart of the survey.
If you have an active COVID-19 outbreak at your congregate setting, please reach out to the MDH congregate health team at Health.R-Congregate@state.mn.us, for support managing the response.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (updated January 7, 2022) and HUD Housing Inventory Chart (HIC) . If you have any additional questions on this funding source please reach out to Andrea.Simonett@state.mn.us.
Overview of Eligible Uses
To manage the immediate outbreak response, it is anticipated that funds will be used to support:
- Wages for staff who must isolation or quarantine due to COVID exposure, so staff do not need to use personal paid time off to cover isolation/quarantine period or go without pay.
- Hiring temporary emergency staff to work during the active outbreak filling in shifts for staff who are isolating or quarantining.
- Hazard pay for staff who are directly working in the shelter setting or isolation and/or quarantine space during an active outbreak. Applicants must provide a detailed budget narrative including number of staff, hourly increase/amount.
- Operating costs for quarantine and/or isolation space or space to deconcentrate the congregate shelter and maintain capacity during the current active outbreak. The funding can support the staffing, food, and operating costs of the quarantine and/or isolation space. This funding is not intended to maintain current hotel shelter operations, but rather to respond to an active outbreak. This funding category could also include preventive spaces with a large outbreak and will be determined in consultation with MDH.
- Other needs as defined by the setting that could help manage the active outbreak. This could include transportation to testing or medical appointments and the purchasing of testing kits. These are flexible funds, and the review committee is open to other uses that will protect shelter guests and staff during an active outbreak.
Shelter Modification and Acquisition Funding
$15 million in Fiscal Recovery Funds and $2 million in emergency shelter grants appropriated by the legislature during the 2021 1st Special Session will be available for shelter settings to improve their ability to prevent transmission of infectious diseases through modifications or by acquiring new space. Modifications could include physical changes designed to reduce transmission risks (such as increasing physical separation of shelter guests, changes to ventilation or air filtration systems, modifications for traffic flow especially in high-traffic areas), or to acquire new shelter space designed to operate effectively for staff and guests in the context of an infectious disease. Awards will prioritize acquisition and renovation projects that minimize COVID-19 risks in congregate settings and can be completed most quickly. The projects must be complete and funds must be fully spent by June 30, 2023. Non-profit organizations, Tribal governments, and local units of government will be eligible to apply for funding through the RFP.
These funds will be administered by OEO through a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process. The RFP has been published and can be found on DHS Open Grants, RFPs and RFIs page. Proposals are due January 28, 2022.
Please contact Katelyn.Warburton@state.mn.us with any questions.