Non-Congregate Sheltering

The North Carolina non-congregate sheltering program is a collaborative effort between the State, counties and local partners to secure hotel and motel rooms, as well as essential wrap-around services, for individuals with no other safe place to quarantine, isolate, or social distance due to COVID-19. Non-congregate sheltering is a critical tool in our efforts to keep North Carolinians safe and healthy, and is a strategy recommended and supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support COVID-19 mitigation. NC Emergency Management (NCEM) and DHHS are working together to provide increased support to counties and local partners as they work to expand access to non-congregate sheltering.

The State has received approval from FEMA to provide non-congregate sheltering to individuals that meet the following categories:

  • Test positive for COVID-19 and do not require hospitalization but need isolation. This includes those discharged from hospitals.
  • Have been exposed to COVID-19 and do not require hospitalization but should be quarantined.
  • Are First Responders and healthcare workers who do not require hospitalization but need to avoid direct contact with their families due to exposure to COVID-19.
  • Are at high risk for COVID-19 and need to undertake social distancing as a precautionary measure, as determined by public health officials. For high-risk groups such as people over 65 or with certain underlying health conditions (respiratory, compromised immunities, chronic disease), this may include those whose living situation makes them unable to adhere to social distancing.

For individuals in need of non-congregate shelter

If an individual meets one of the categories above and has no way to safely distance from others, they or someone working with them should seek assistance. Click the link below for a list of non-congregate shelter access points across the state, organized by county. County and regional contacts are provided here, but not shelter locations and addresses. Contact the shelter provider for information about eligibility and location. If an individual is not eligible for the site, or a county is not listed, contact the county Emergency Management Agency, Local Health Department, or NC 2-1-1 to ask for assistance. A non-congregate shelter program does not currently exist in every county.  

Access Points for Non-Congregate Shelter Across NC

For local partners running non-congregate shelter programs

Eligible sheltering operations and wrap-around services are reimbursable under FEMA’s Public Assistance program at a 75% federal and 25% non-federal cost share, with the State of North Carolina covering the non-federal cost-share.

Local efforts should be closely coordinated with applicable local partners, including cities, housing and public health agencies, homeless Continuums of Care, behavioral health, labor, nonprofit organizations and others with experience servicing this population, other county and tribal departments, and health care departments and providers, inclusive of telehealth options.

The hospitality industry and other private-sector partners will be critical in facilitating the non-congregate sheltering program. Businesses such as hotels, motels, colleges, universities and other large-scale facilities that may be able to serve as non-congregate facilities can email

Local partners seeking direct reimbursement from FEMA

Local jurisdictions and agencies that plan to use or set up non-congregate shelters and seek reimbursement will be considered sub-applicants. Sub-applicants that may be eligible for reimbursement are:

  • Indian Tribal and local governments
  • Private Non-Profits
  • COC (Continuum of Care)
  • Homeless shelters

Sub-applicants must register in the FEMA Grants Portal and submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) and then submit a Project Application. Eligible sub-applicants are strongly encouraged to secure hotel/motel rooms and to provide necessary wrap-around services.

Guidance on reimbursement and eligible sub-applicants

Local partners seeking expedited reimbursement from NCEM

Local jurisdictions and agencies may choose to partner with NC Emergency Management (NCEM) for expedited reimbursement of non-congregate shelter expenses. This State-centric reimbursement model will allow counties or other eligible organizations to receive reimbursement from the State after submitting supporting documentation and invoices to NCEM. NCEM will then seek FEMA reimbursement for these expenses. County or other eligible applicant (Indian Tribal and local governments, private non-profits, COCs, homeless shelters) – regardless of whether they currently operate a non-congregate sheltering program or not – may request this assistance.

Counties that request this option will remain responsible for setting up and managing their program locally, including coordinating comprehensive wrap-around services, weekly reporting, and verifying program costs. Each county or eligible organization will need to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)  with NCEM before NCEM can provide expedited reimbursement to that county or organization.

Guidance on reimbursement and eligible sub-applicants

FAQs on expedited reimbursement process


All counties or organizations operating non-congregate shelter must complete a report for each operational site every Friday by close of business.

Complete Report

FEMA Approvals


Additional Information on Non-Congregate Sheltering in North Carolina