The Trump administration is giving $2.96 billion of CARES Act funding to support homeless Americans and those at risk of becoming homeless as a result of the economic shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced in a Tuesday press release.

“Homelessness was a major issue in some cities across our Nation long before this pandemic occurred, and unfortunately the dire living conditions of our most vulnerable Americans left many without a home to isolate in or proper medical and healthcare resources to defend themselves against this invisible enemy,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement.

“As we continued to monitor the effects of COVID-19 in at risk communities, the Department and our partners worked quickly to respond to outbreaks and minimize the spread from hotspots to other locations,” Carson added. “This increased funding to help provide for our homeless will make a difference now as we combat the coronavirus and inform long-term, innovative solutions for addressing homelessness in the future.”

President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: “We are taking care of our Nation’s most vulnerable citizens. Thanks @SecretaryCarson.”

According to HUD, the budget allocates money for the following programs:

  • Make more emergency shelters available for homeless individuals and families.
  • Operate emergency shelters by providing food, rent, security, maintenance, repair, fuel, equipment, insurance, utilities, furnishings, and supplies necessary for their operation.
  • Provide Hotel/Motel Vouchers for homeless families and individuals.
  • Provide essential services to people experiencing homelessness including childcare, education services, employment assistance, outpatient health services, legal services, mental health services, substance abuse treatment services, and transportation.
  • Prevent individuals from becoming homeless and rapidly rehouse homeless individuals.