Emergency Hotels During COVID-19
SINCE JUNE 2020, ZACAH HAS NOT ONLY KEPT NEIGHBORS HOUSED-
WE GOT NEIGHBORS HOUSED. HERE’S HOW.
As ZACAH moved rapidly to support unhoused individuals and families with hotel stays during the pandemic, as encampments in Minneapolis and St. Paul were routinely disrupted and swept by law enforcement, we received $650,000 in Sadaqah donations from across the country.
From November 2020 through April 2021, we received $283,000 of grant funding from the state of Minnesota to continue this work.
In sum, we sponsored roughly 8,000 nights in hotels for approximately 1,500 individuals, at a total cost of $500,000.
In November, we operationalized our emergency hotel program and piloted a Hotel-to-Housing Program, supported with a robust community safety team well-trained in deescalation & aimed to be as low-barrier as possible.
144 people were housed through this program by a team of 10 resource navigators and overnight staff. 45 were housed within 2 months, and 29 households moved in with their first month of rent and security deposit paid.
Because rent was not forgiven or canceled during the pandemic, we continued to support housed applicants with rent. From December 2020-June 2021, we processed 215 applications for financial or rental assistance, and have approved over 150 so far.
Save for the staffing required by the grant from MN-DHS, all of our work is completed by a team of dedicated volunteers. While we believe strongly in compensating labor, the demands of our community right now require us to put every single donated dollar right back into the community.
If you have any questions about hotel program, please don't hesitate to reach out.