Tester Secures Nearly $7 Million in Homelessness Funding for Montanans During COVID-19 Pandemic

Senator: “Staying at home works great—but quite frankly, many folks in our communities just don’t have that option”

As part of his ongoing efforts to safeguard high-risk Montanans from coronavirus, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced that the Treasure State will receive $6,742,481 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic among homeless individuals and families.

“Montanans have proven that when it comes to preventing the spread of coronavirus, staying at home works great—but quite frankly, many folks in our communities just don’t have that option,” said Tester. “Homeless folks have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 simply because they don’t have a roof over their heads, and this funding will be critical to keeping them safe so that they can spend more time taking care of their families and less wondering whether or not they’re going to get sick.”

Tester worked to secure this funding as part of the CARES Act in order to help states support homeless people—both sheltered and unsheltered—amid the COVID-19 pandemic by targeting communities with high numbers of homeless individuals or that have high risk for homelessness. The funding will also support additional homeless assistance and homelessness prevention activities to mitigate the impacts of coronavirus as homeless individuals are considered one of the most at-risk groups for transmission.

Tester has been fighting tirelessly to ensure that Montana’s highest-risk populations have the tools they need to combat the spread of COVID-19. Last week, he secured nearly $900,000 to help Montana Tribes respond to the pandemic, and he recently called on the Trump Administration to engage with Tribal leaders to make sure that CARES Act resources are directed quickly to where they are most needed, and that the federal government lives up to its trust and treaty responsibilities. He also secured $15.6 million for 60 nursing homes across the state to cover expenses and lost revenue, and he recently announced that 58 rural Montana health providers are receiving $2.8 million to bolster testing efforts.

Visit tester.senate.gov/coronavirusresources for a list of resources for Montanans during the COVID-19 outbreak