The State of Missouri has allocated $4 million from its Coronavirus Relief Fund to support Sheltered Workshops across the state. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will create grant programs to distribute these funds to workshops to lessen the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on workshop operations. These funds will be used to address specific pandemic-related matters. Sheltered workshops that closed or had decreased revenue as a result of COVID-19 will have access to business interruption financial assistance grants. For sheltered workshops that remained open for business, funding will be provided for the purchase of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies used onsite.
Sheltered Workshops provide a controlled, safe and highly supervised work environment that enables individuals with disabilities to contribute in a workplace environment, grow his/her ability and develop relationships with others. There are 89 workshop corporations located across the state of Missouri. These workshops provide employment for approximately 6,100 people with disabilities and approximately 900 non-disabled staff.