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Lynn lands $4 million to curb homelessness

By David Mclellan | June 11, 2020

LYNN — The city is receiving $4 million in federal funds to combat homelessness in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) announced Wednesday that the federal government has appropriated $4,004,861 to support residents who are currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless after losing jobs during the pandemic.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development will distribute the funds through its Emergency Solutions Grants program that the U.S. Congress created in the passage of its disaster-relief CARES Act package.

“The coronavirus has taken a heavy toll on people’s health and on their bank accounts. In the richest country on earth, nobody should be forced out of their home because they lost a job or got sick, especially during a pandemic,” Moulton said.

Practically, Lynn can use the money to prevent homelessness and support those who are currently homeless, including by constructing or improving shelters, operating current shelters, creating hotel/motel vouchers and giving them to homeless people, and creating more housing for the city’s homeless population.

According to Moulton, the funds may also be used for services such as childcare, education, employment assistance, outpatient health programs, legal services, substance abuse treatment services, and transportation.

Moulton said the funds are “a start,” but more should be done to assuage homelessness in the area.

“People are doing their best to tread water, but communities need federal help,” Moulton said. “These funds are a start, but we’ll need more federal action to get through this.”

The $4 million grant is part of a second round of relief from the federal government. Previously, Lynn received $751,083 in Emergency Solutions Grants funding and $1,456,642 in Community Development Block Grant funding on April 2.