Cedar Rapids to use CARES Act funding for quarantine-ready shelter

Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 11:03 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - People without a home after the derecho who need to quarantine can’t stay at shelters in Cedar Rapids, but city officials are hoping to use federal funds to alleviate that issue.

The city has a plan to use $1.2 million in CARES Act funding to open a new facility that could be used for a variety of emergency needs. This one would be permanent, unlike the temporary fix at the Fillmore Building overflow shelter on the northwest side right now. That shelter is already nearing capacity.

On Tuesday, the council approved the move toward securing this new facility. This permanent facility would have the capacity for people who might need to quarantine, as well as serve as a shelter after a disaster and be the ongoing overflow shelter in the winter and serve as a daytime shelter all the time.

“We are crunched for time right now because winter is fast approaching and people still have holes in their roofs and their windows are not boarded or weatherized at all right now, and so that’s going to be put additional strain on shelters I’m assuming as winter comes and people can’t keep their homes heated," J’Nae Peterson, with Waypoint housing services, said.

Sara Buck, the housing programs manager for the city, said the city is hoping to secure emergency shelter grants in January for this project. The city would ask non-profits to submit proposals to run the program, and Linn County would also be involved.

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