RIVERSIDE (CNS) – The Board of Supervisors today signed off on an agreement with the California Business, Consumer Services & Housing Agency to ensure Riverside County receives a $504,000 allocation to support transient housing programs during the coronavirus emergency.

The distribution will be part of a continuum of care initiative approved under the 2019-20 state budget, but the funding is now considered a critical needs earmark because of COVID-19, according to county officials.

“Residents and businesses will benefit as the funds are being used to provide emergency shelter for individuals and families who are vulnerable during the pandemic period,” according to an Executive Office statement posted to the board’s agenda.

In addition to shelter for individuals and families, the money will support “outreach and case management through the (county) Emergency Operations Center’s Mass Shelter Unit,” the EO stated.

Funds can also be expended to procure hand-washing stations and medical supplies for established homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities.

Gov. Gavin Newsom last week announced that the state would be expanding efforts to place chronically and temporarily homeless individuals in lodges, relying on reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that will cover about three-quarters of the costs.

The state grant must be used in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. Under the agreement with BCSHA, the county can enter into agreements with municipalities and other entities to spend the funds as directed.