CoC Updates for December 2020

This month we bring you updates on COVID-19 related resources including rental assistance for individuals and families and grants for non-profits, a great success story and a calendar of 2021 meetings and events.

See you next year!
COVID-19 Updates
Due to an increase in infection rates, the County has moved back into the more restrictive "purple" tier, from the "red" tier. As the County moves between different color tiers due to changes in COVID-19 infection rates, guidance for homeless service providers operating shelters and other indoor services is updated and posted here for reference.
As of December 11, 2020, over 8,700 people experiencing homelessness have received tests for COVID and 190 people experiencing homelessness have tested positive.

For the most up to date information on testing, cases and hotel placements for people experiencing homelessness in Contra Costa, visit the full dashboard using the button below.
COVID-19 can take up to two weeks to show up on a test. If you saw people outside your household over the Thanksgiving holiday, consider getting tested to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

To schedule a test, call (844) 421- 0804 or go to
System Updates
A calendar of 2021 CoC meetings and events, including log on/location information for Council on Homelessness regular and committee meetings, CoC Learning Hubs, Stakeholder meetings, Trainings and other meetings and events can be found here.
Resources are now available to help people financially impacted by COVID-19 and struggling with housing and/or utility costs.

You may be able to get help with:
  • Payment of past due rent
  • Payment of current month's rent
  • Payment of future month's rent
  • Payment of utilities (PG&E, water, etc)

For more information, go to
Community Updates
California Governor Gavin Newsom has authorized new tax relief and grants to businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
Tax Relief for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
The Governor will direct the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to do the following:
  1. Provide an automatic three-month extension for taxpayers filing less than $1 million in sales tax on the return and extend the availability of existing interest and penalty free payment agreements to companies (with up to $5 million in taxable sales).
  2. Broaden opportunities for more businesses to enter into interest-free payment arrangements.
  3. Expand interest-free payment options for larger businesses particularly affected by significant restrictions on operations based on COVID-19 transmissions.

$500 Million for New COVID Relief Grant for Small Business
The Governor announced the creation of a $500 million COVID Relief Grant administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development for small businesses that have been impacted by COVID and the health and safety restrictions. Funds would be awarded to selected intermediaries with established networks of Community Development Financial Institutions to distribute relief through grants of up to $25,000 to underserved micro and small businesses throughout the state by early 2021. Non-profits would also be eligible for these grants. CalOSBA is establishing the program and will make it available to small businesses as soon as possible – for updates on availability visit here.

Increase Funding for the California Rebuilding Fund by $12.5 million
The Governor announced the opening of the California Rebuilding Fund, which makes available $25 million to help impacted small businesses rebuild from the economic crisis and keep local economies strong. This program is built to be a resource in the market for the next year as businesses pivot and recover.
An increase of $12.5 million would allow the Fund to be fully capitalized. The additional funding will help the 3rd party administrator of the fund raise $125 million to make more low-interest loans to small businesses with less access to loans from traditional banking institutions.
For more information: Read Governor Newsom’s news release or visit the Business and Employers section of the state’s website.
At the November CoC Learning Hub, we recognized landlords, volunteers, innovative programs, jurisdictions and hotels that have made a difference this year and hosted a panel discussion with people who have moved from homelessness to housing in Contra Costa and the people and agencies who helped them achieve their goals.

To see the list of recognized partners and for a link to a video of the meeting, click here.
Success Stories
In May, 2020, Linda (name changed for privacy) a 56-year-old woman battling a second round of breast cancer, learned that the building she had lived in for ten years was being sold. She didn’t panic, because while she had credit issues, she also had a housing voucher. 

Unfortunately, Linda's poor credit history meant she found herself spending what little money she had on housing applications that were routinely denied. Within a month, she was living in her friend’s car. Linda's health was failing but she was told she could not begin treatment for her cancer until she had stable housing. Facing the reality of another mastectomy, no treatment, bad credit and no real support system, Linda felt lost and hopeless when she connected to Humanity Way for help with her housing situation.

Staff discovered that she was at risk of losing her housing voucher if she did not find housing within two weeks. Working together, they quickly found a unit in a community Linda was already familiar with, that would accept her housing voucher, and that would accept her service pet. With the support of the staff, Linda managed to complete the application process, background check and approval the day before her housing voucher expired!

Thanks to her own hard work and that of community partners including Humanity Way, the property manager of her new building and the Housing Authority of Contra Costa County, Linda is getting the medical treatment she so desperately needed and has a safe and healthy place to heal.
Upcoming Meetings and Events
The annual Council on Homelessness orientation is open to the public.

Thursday, January 7, 2021
10:00 am - Noon
[Please note time change from earlier listings]
Phone: 1-844-517-1271 US Toll Free
Meeting number (access code): 146 690 1006
Meeting password: pxPpgw2K6@3

Join our next Council on Homelessness meeting.

Thursday, January 21
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
[note different date and time than usual]
Phone: 1-844-517-1271 US Toll Free
Meeting number (access code): 146 050 0225
Meeting password: zkGrjJf*244
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