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Escambia County Cold Weather Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Cold Weather SOP's will be initiated at the following levels:

  • Level 1 (Initiate cold weather operations) - 40 degrees or below with wind-chill factor
    • Central receiving facility initiated to work with all service providers to provide shelter to the unsheltered.
    • Additional temporary cots may need to be set up.
    • Volunteers may need to be mobilized.
  • Level 2 (Emergency Operations) - 35 degrees or below with wind-chill factor
    • Central receiving facility initiated to work with all service providers to provide shelter to the unsheltered.
    • Shelters will need to lower barriers within reason to shelter the unsheltered.
    • Additional costs will need to be set up.
    • Volunteers will need to be mobilized.
    • Donations will be needed.

Community Partner Cold Weather Assistance Form

Real Change Project Reconnect

Helping homeless individuals and families find housing in a supportive environment.

As significant numbers of homeless individuals and families have migrated to communities where they have few supportive services and limited prospects for finding housing, we can offer these individuals and families the option of returning to their community of origin or to a community where they have available supportive services and to facilitate housing placement. 

This opportunity aims to provide several benefits:

  • It may help reduce homelessness.
  • It may allow individuals and families to return to communities where they are more likely to have family and social support networks.
  • It may support family reunification.
  • It may help reduce competition for scarce affordable housing for those homeless remaining in communities with low vacancy rates.
  • It may be used to link individuals and families to employment, providing the income critical to sustain permanent housing.

It is expected that the individual and families voluntarily agree to return to their community of origin or to a community where they have available supportive services and to facilitate housing placement.

The following individuals and families may be eligible for Real Change Project Reconnect:

  • Individuals and families seeking family reunification and housing with their family or other social support system. 
  • Individuals and families who have identified employment and need only short-term social service support to facilitate their transition to the arrival community. 
  • Individuals and families who have affordable permanent housing or other shelter option awaiting them in a community where they have family or social supports. 

The program will be involved in working with community partners to secure the required IDs and birth certificates for those under 18, confirming the individual and families do not have any legal issues holding them in Escambia County, completing the Real Change Reconnect Program Request form, exploring both bus and airline tickets for best options, and confirming that connections have been made in the arriving community. We also will coordinate a place for the individual or family to stay prior to their departure and provide transportation to the bus station or airport.

Real Change Project Reconnect Guidance

Real Change Project Reconnect Pre-Documentation Checklist

Think you qualify for Real Change Project Reconnect and are interested in Relocation, click here to submit your pre-application and someone will reach out to schedule an appointment.

Real Change Project Reconnect Marketing Materials:

For more information, email

HOME-ARP Addresses Specific Needs Relating to Homelessness and Housing Instability

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 appropriated $5 billion to provide housing, services, and shelter to individuals experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable populations. These funds were allocated by formula to jurisdictions that qualified for funding through the HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME Program) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This special round of funding is called the “HOME-ARP” program. 

In September 2021, HUD awarded the Escambia County, FL HOME Consortium (which consists of Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, the City of Pensacola and the City of Milton) $4.1 million in HOME-ARP funds.

The HOME-ARP Program is a stand-alone program distinct from the traditional HOME Program. Since the American Rescue Plan Act’s purpose is to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on American communities, HOME-ARP funds are reserved for specific  eligible activities benefiting specific qualifying populations that are known to have experienced much higher risks of homelessness and housing instability during the pandemic

Eligible Activities

HOME-ARP funds can be used for four eligible activities.

  • Production or Preservation of Affordable Rental Housing
  • Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA)
  • Supportive Services, including services defined at 24 CFR 578.53(e), homeless prevention services, and housing counseling.
  • Purchase and Development of Non-Congregate Shelter. These structures can remain in use as non-congregate shelters or can be converted to 1) emergency shelter under the Emergency Solutions Grant program; 2) permanent housing under the Continuum of Care; or 3) affordable housing under the HOME Program. 

Qualifying Populations

HOME-ARP funds must be used to primarily benefit individuals or families from the following qualifying populations:

  • Homeless, as defined in section 103(a) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11302(a));
  • At-risk of homelessness, as defined in section 401(1) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11360(1));
  • Fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, as defined by the Secretary;
  • In other populations where providing supportive services or assistance under section 212(a) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 12742(a)) would prevent the family’s homelessness or would serve those with the greatest risk of housing instability;
  • Veterans and families that include a veteran family member that meet one of the preceding criteria.

Public Outreach Process

HOME-ARP Public Meeting Scheduled Monday, September 26th, 2022, at 5:30pm to be held at Brownsville Community Center at 3200 W. De Soto Street, Pensacola, FL 32505.

On Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners and the City of Pensacola are hosting the Real Change community partner event at the Brownsville Community Center. 

Public Meetings

Survey Results

Escambia County will share our Community Engagement Plan for the HOME American Rescue Plan (HOME-ARP) Program as soon as it has been finalized. This document will outline the proposed consultation process for the preparation of a HOME-ARP Allocation Plan, which will prescribe the county’s planned uses of HOME-ARP funds. These funds can be used for homelessness assistance and supportive services that primarily benefit qualifying populations as defined in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Along with a needs assessment and gap analysis, the public consultation process outlined in this Community Engagement Plan will help determine the allocation of the Consortium’s HOME-ARP funds toward eligible activities.

This Community Engagement Plan will be updated with information about engagement opportunities and strategies as they become available. 

Development of the HUD-ARP Allocation Plan

On September 13, 2021, HUD Issued regulations and guidance for the HOME-ARP Program, including a requirement that participating jurisdictions develop an allocation plan for the use of HOME-ARP funds. ( Notice CPD-21-10). The allocation plan must be approved by HUD before Escambia County can receive and begin to commit HOME-ARP funds. The main purpose of the allocation plan is to engage in significant community and stakeholder outreach to gather data and prepare a needs assessment and gap analysis. This gap analysis will guide the BCHC’s implementation of the HOME-ARP Program and selection of activities for HOME-ARP funding.

  • Open for public comment until Monday, March 20, 2023Please email comments to
    • The public notice of the Final Draft was published in the PNJ on 3/3/23 is stating the Plan is available for review and public comment.
    • The Escambia HOME Consortium, consisting of Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, the City of Pensacola, and the City of Milton announce the availability of the DRAFT HOME-ARP ALLOCATION PLAN, to be filed with the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development concerning local housing and community development activities and services to be accomplished with the HOME-ARP funding awarded to the Consortium. This report details activities to be carried out over the length of the grant.
    • Copies of the Report are available for public review and comment at: Neighborhood Enterprise Division, 221 Palafox Place, Suite 305, Pensacola, FL 32502; (850) 595-0022 or via Written comments will be received at the above noted addresses through March 20, 2023. The Escambia HOME Consortium adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act and will make reasonable modifications for access to services, programs and other activities.
  • Escambia County HOME-ARP Notification 3.3.23
  • Escambia County HOME-ARP Allocation Plan FINAL DRAFT
  • HOME-ARP Public Notice- Plan Update
  • HOME-ARP Allocation Plan Amendment - August 2023



For more information about the HOME-ARP Program:
HOME-ARP Program | / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

For more information about the Homeless Reduction Task Force of NWF:
Reducing Homelessness | Northwest Florida

If you are experiencing homelessness, please contact our local Continuum of Care:

For more information for access to free virtual mental health therapy, visit here:

Contact us by email at

Escambia County Opioid Abatement Funding

Escambia County is receiving funding from the National Opioid Settlement and has formed an Opioid Abatement Advisory Board. Find out more here.

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