WESTERN VIRGINIA CONTINUUM OF CARE AWARDED STATE FUNDING FOR COVID-19 RELATED EMERGENCY SHELTER & HOUSING SUPPORT
This spring and summer, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) awarded the Western Virginia Continuum of Care (CoC) funding to support housing and shelter programs for those most vulnerable during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic through DHCD’s COVID Homelessness Emergency Response Program (CHERP). The goals of CHERP are first, ensuring “access to safe, 24/7, emergency shelter” for those experiencing homelessness and second, helping “households maintain or obtain permanent housing and receive the housing-focused supportive services necessary to retain permanent housing.” To date, the Western Virginia CoC has received $657,294 through CHERP funding awards.
The funding from DHCD’s CHERP provides financial support for emergency shelter operations (included hotel/motel vouchers) and rapid re-housing programs throughout the CoC. Nine regional agencies have received funding and included: in Front Royal, Northwestern Community Services Board and The Thermal Shelter of Front Royal; in Harrisonburg, First Step, Mercy House, Open Doors, and Our Community Place; in Winchester, AIDS Response Effort and Winchester Rescue Mission; and in Woodstock, Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter. These agencies have worked closely with the CoC Lead Agency (Harrisonburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority), government officials, and other organizations in their respective localities to continue providing emergency shelter options and housing support services during the pandemic.
The Western Virginia Continuum of Care (CoC) is a collaboration of nonprofits, governments, schools, hospitals, law enforcement, and community members that works to prevent and end homelessness in the Shenandoah Valley. The CoC area includes Clarke, Frederick, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Warren counties, and the cities of Harrisonburg and Winchester.