Unsheltered individuals in Springfield will be able to stay in hotel rooms to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for at least 2 more weeks.
This week, the United Way of the Ozarks approved an emergency allocation of $22,000 to Community Partnership of the Ozarks’ Merciful Nights Campaign. The funds were donated to the United Way by BKD’s special employee giving campaign to support emerging community needs from the pandemic, according to Community Partnership.
Michelle Garand, deputy director of Affordable Housing and Homeless Prevention at the organization, said, when they learned of the United Way money, the Merciful Nights fund was down to nothing.
"Hearing about these funds just, really, honestly, was a godsend," she said, "to be able to know that we have two weeks more than we can protect folks."
Private donors have kept Merciful Nights going to now. Garand hopes to receive CARES Act funding to continue the program.
There are currently 134 formerly homeless households that are protected through the Merciful Nights fund.