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Council Approves More Money for Motel Voucher Program

Published on Tuesday, March 14, 2023 | 12:12 pm
 

As part of Monday’s consent calendar, the City Council approved an additional $100,000 to Friends in Deed for the additional funding for the provision of motel vouchers.

The inclement weather has forced the nonprofit to hand out vouchers more frequently this winter.

“This increased precipitation, in addition to colder temperatures, has more frequently activated the City’s system of providing motel stays, through non-profit partners such as Friends In Deed, to people experiencing homelessness during inclement weather. At the same time, federal emergency grant funding that supported weather-activated motel vouchers during the past two winter seasons is no longer available. In response, as a hypothermia prevention measure, Council has approved the use of General Funds to expand and sustain the provision of protective motel stays to those without homes.”

Pasadena has received more than double the amount of rain than is typical throughout January and February,” according to a City staff reporting contained in Monday’s agenda.

On January 18 and February 27 of this year, the City Council approved an additional $200,000 collectively of General Fund dollars with Friends In Deed to support the continued provision of weather-activated motel vouchers.

Since January 5, Friends In Deed has provided motel stays to 117 unduplicated individuals on 43 nights.

The City has been without a Bad Weather Shelter since the pandemic began.

The City has contracted with Friends In Deed to provide motel stays to unsheltered residents when the overnight temperature is predicted to fall below 40 degrees, there is more than a 40% chance of rain, or winds are predicted to exceed 40 miles per hour, according to a City staff report.

In January, the City Council approved funds for the nonprofit after Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater told Pasadena Now that they would have to ration hotel vouchers.

Since then, under Council direction, Friends In Deed has ramped up its motel voucher program to ensure that motel stays during inclement weather are provided to all who request the services, according to the report.

The City is currently vetting a local church as a possible property for a bad weather shelter next winter. That location will need some improvements.

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