FEMA Approval for Non-Congregate Sheltering in Response to COVID-19

Vulnerable Households who test positive for COVID-19 Able to Move to Hotels and Motels

Individuals experiencing homelessness and living in homeless shelters often live in very close quarters making social distancing impossible.

During the current COVID-19 pandemic with stay in place orders, hotels and motels have seen a drastic decrease in business leaving them with rooms that can be used to house individuals experiencing homelessness.
“Thousands of vulnerable homeless people across the U.S. are being moved to hotels to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus among shelters.”
On April 11, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced FEMA Approval for Non-Congregate Sheltering in Response to COVID-19
Governor Murphy and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved New Jersey’s request to use emergency, non-congregate sheltering for individuals impacted by COVID-19 that do not have the means or ability to isolate themselves.
FEMA’s approval allows State, county, and local entities to be reimbursed for providing housing at hotels or motels for certain vulnerable populations, including:
  • Homeless families who live in congregate shelters with at least one family member who has tested positive for COVID-19;
  • Homeless individuals who require quarantine or isolation due to a positive test for COVID-19;
  • Children and adults living in congregate living settings, such as group homes, who have tested positive for COVID-19;
  • First responders and healthcare workers who do not require hospitalization but nevertheless need to avoid direct contact with their families due to exposure to COVID-19; and
  • COVID-19 positive patients who do not require hospitalization in a traditional setting but who nonetheless require quarantine and isolation outside their resident to prevent the further spread of the virus.
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