FEMA Announces $200m in Homeless Prevention Aid Awards for 2009 

Release Date: December 19, 2008
Release Number: HQ-08-260

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that federal funds totaling $200 million has been awarded to help prevent homelessness, and feed and shelter the nation's hungry and homeless.

FEMA Administrator David Paulison said the funding was made available by Congress for the National Board of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) to support social service agencies in more than 2,500 cities and counties across the country.  EFSP grant funds are used to supplement food, shelter, rent, mortgage and utility assistance programs for people with non-disaster related emergencies.

The EFSP, which commemorated its twenty-fifth year in fiscal year 2008, is administered by a National Board of voluntary agencies chaired by Berl D. Jones, Jr. of FEMA.  Member agencies of the National Board include American Red Cross; Catholic Charities USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.; The Salvation Army; United Jewish Communities; and, United Way of America.

"The ESFP has an extraordinary history of providing food and shelter for families over the past 25 years," said Paulison, "but there is now an unprecedented demand on our shelters from the newest population in need - the working poor. I am grateful a program like this exists for families struggling to make ends meet even after the paycheck runs out."

The EFSP began in 1983 with a $50 million federal appropriation to help meet the needs of hungry and homeless people throughout the United States and its territories by allocating federal funds for the provision of food and shelter.  The EFSP, appropriated annually under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, provides supplemental funds to over 12,000 agencies for the prevention of homelessness and the provision of other food and shelter services.

Paulison noted that, since its inception 26 years ago, more than $3.3 billion in federal aid will have been disbursed through the EFSP with fiscal year 2009 funding.

The National Board qualifies jurisdictions for annual EFSP funding awards based on criteria involving current population, unemployment and poverty levels.  Grants are awarded to non-profit community and government organizations that are chosen by Local Boards in the qualifying jurisdictions.  In addition to direct funding awards, Paulison said 8.7 percent of the funds available has been awarded by the National Board to State Set-Aside (SSA) Committees.  SAA Committees select jurisdictions for funding with significant needs or service gaps that may not have qualified for direct funding from the National Board.

A state-by-state list of the eligible jurisdictions and award amounts is available at www.efsp.unitedway.org .

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

Last Modified: Friday, 19-Dec-2008 12:26:12