COVINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) -The Welcome House of Northern Kentucky has seen a 400% increase in service requests amid the pandemic.
“There are a lot of people who are just precariously housed, so just one emergency, one missed paycheck can start the cycle of utilities turned off. Car payments not made, and then rent payments not made and evictions processed, and then your credit is dinged, and you have an eviction on your records, so it’s just a tidal wave,” Danielle Amrine, CEO of the Welcome House of Northern Kentucky said.
Amrine says based on the group’s outreach program, Welcome House is finding more people living in their cars and storage units. Fortunately, thanks to nearly $2 million in CARES Act Funding, Welcome House continues to serve the community through rapid re-housing programs.
“We do have a lot of programs that are meant to sort of restabilize families and individuals and get them back into housing,” Amrine notes.
Amrine also says Welcome House greatly benefits from CARES Act Funding.
“From additional dollars that we’ve received from HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) for our emergency solutions grant, which is how we’ve been able to have our shelter for single adults in conjunction with the city of Covington’s funding,” Amrine adds.
Welcome House has a low barrier shelter operating 24/7 this winter in Covington, housing 26 adults who underwent a screening process. All of those slots are full, and that shelter will continue to operate through March 31st.
“It’s been really great. We’ve practiced a housing-first philosophy. Once a person has a stable bed that is their bed 24/7, we’re able to successfully knock down barriers and get them into housing. Once you’re housed, you can access things like medical care, and go to on-job interviews and really get yourself prepared to get back on track, but you really need a stable place to do that,” Armine said. “From the minute the doors were open, we’ve been full. We have a lot of people accessing case management services, filling out housing applications, and we have several people getting jobs. They have clean laundry, access to our care from our nurse to get medical care, making sure they’re getting to their appointments, so, it’s been a really amazing experience for us so far.”
Amrine adds that the emergency winter shelter could operate beyond March 31st. Some determining factors include additional funding, the number of COVID-19 positive tests, and the vaccine distribution process.
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