FEMA Approves Denver’s $60.4 Million Emergency Shelter Budget Request

Published on March 10, 2021

DENVER – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) notified Denver today that it has approved the city’s initial version request of $60,446,662 for costs related to emergency shelter for those experiencing homelessness, clearing the way for Denver to seek full reimbursement for those costs from FEMA in the coming months.

“This has been critical work during the pandemic and this move will ensure that it and other operations can continue without interruption. Our Region 8 FEMA office has been a great partner throughout this response, and I want to personally thank them for their support and increased attention they’ve put on Denver’s reimbursement claims in recent months,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “I also appreciate the support and advocacy Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper and Congresswoman DeGette have provided to ensure FEMA stayed on top of Denver’s emergency funding needs.”

The approval provides confirmation of support for Denver’s 2020 emergency sheltering costs and gives the City more budget capacity to continue its emergency response for people experiencing homelessness into 2021. The approval comes at a critical time when the city is working to extend several contracts with hotels providing non-congregate shelter and other services. The city also continues to move forward with construction on a second large shelter facility located off 48th Avenue in northeast Denver. The new shelter will allow the city to transition from temporary shelter sites to the new facility, which is located near the city’s existing shelter and will continue to provide 24/7 access to shelter and supportive services.

“People experiencing homelessness are already a vulnerable population, and during this public health crisis, it’s more important than ever to provide emergency shelter,” Senator Michael Bennet said. “This FEMA funding will help Denver address the urgent needs of people experiencing homelessness in our city and help stem the tide of the pandemic.”

"Denver's emergency shelters help thousands of vulnerable residents stay safe and slow the spread of COVID-19," said Senator John Hickenlooper. "This critical funding will further support those experiencing homelessness during this pandemic."

“No one should have to worry about having a roof over their head when they go to sleep at night – and we need to be doing everything we can to help those who are struggling the most during these difficult times,” Congresswoman DeGette said. “Getting this federal funding approved for the city of Denver will allow it to dedicate even more resources to help those experiencing homelessness in our area. It’s critical, in times of crisis such as these, that we’re all working together to provide all the support we can to those who need it most.”

While an emergency declaration is under effect, the city may submit initial version requests to FEMA based on forecasted need. These initial version requests identify/expand the city’s obligated funding capacity. Initial version requests are first processed and approved through the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and then through FEMA. Once FEMA approves the requested funding capacity, the city may submit claims for reimbursements based on expenses. Reimbursement claims are also processed and approved by the State and FEMA.