Phoenix City Council unanimously approved the allocation of nearly $18 million dollars of federal COVID-19 funding to support vulnerable populations in the community. According to Mayor Kate Gallego, the money will be used to combat homelessness, address housing insecurity, and provide micro-loans and grants for local small businesses and non-profits. This vote represents the largest Community Block Development Grant investment toward combating homelessness in the city’s history.
“Of the many cruelties inflicted by COVID-19, perhaps none is greater than the fact it’s made the most vulnerable among us even more so. One of most pertinent and immediate changes from today’s vote is the city will be moving our most vulnerable and at-risk residents into hotel rooms,” stated Mayor Gallego. While these funds are going to help the city respond to the very real and present danger of COVID-19, Phoenix is looking at these investments in the long term. The wrap-around services begun through these programs will have a positive ripple effect for years to come, not least of which is getting people into homes.
The Mayor added, “this is an opportunity to make real gains in fighting homelessness and emerge a stronger, more resilient, and compassionate community.”