The Oregon Legislative Emergency Board has approved more than $128 million to help Oregonians impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The approval includes funding for childcare providers, Oregonians in need of shelter, small businesses, long-term care providers and victims of domestic and sexual violence.
“This funding comes at a critical time as COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Oregon," Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek said. "As winter approaches, it’s particularly important we passed additional funding to help people without permanent housing. We’ve been facing a statewide shelter emergency for some time and the pandemic has made the situation even more dire. We have a lot of work ahead of us to solve this emergency but it's an important step."
During its Monday, Nov. 9 meeting in Salem, the state emergency board approved $35 million from the Oregon’s Emergency Fund to support the Project Turnkey Statewide Pandemic and Homelessness Response.
The Oregon Community Foundation will use funding to support the acquisition, retrofitting and potential operation of hotel and motel properties to be used as emergency shelter. The funding is in addition to $30 million the Emergency Board approved on Oct. 23 to begin Project Turnkey in wildfire-affected areas.
The E Board also approved the following allocations from the state’s share of federal funds available through the Coronavirus Relief Fund:
• $45 million for Childcare Provider Assistance to support the increased costs facing childcare providers facing economic and operational challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
• $20 million for a third grant to the Oregon Community Foundation for the Oregon Worker Relief Fund, which will make additional payments to workers who are ineligible for wage replacement payments from traditional unemployment insurance programs.
• $20 million to provide additional financial assistance to small businesses economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The board previously allocated $25.6 million for COVID-19 Emergency Business Assistance in July.
• $5 million to help cover long term care provider costs for routine COVID-19 staff testing.
• $2.4 million for one-time COVID-19 baseline testing of long term care facility staff and residents.
• $1 million to support victims of domestic and sexual violence. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for increased domestic and sexual violence. The board previously dedicated $2 million to support victims in April.
In July, the Oregon Legislative Emergency Board approved more than $200 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars to provide further economic support for Oregonians and small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.