United Way of Washington County (UWWC) and the Washington County Local Board for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) announces the distribution of $416,410 in funding to local organizations to supplement and expand ongoing efforts to provide shelter, food and supportive services to people who are hungry, homeless, and in economic crisis. The Emergency Food and Shelter Program is a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS/FEMA).
These funds were made available as part of the Phase 39 and ARPA-R (additional allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021). To be eligible, applicants who submitted requests had to be nonprofit organizations, churches, or units of government that have demonstrated the ability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs. The following organizations were awarded funds:
Phase 39 - $101,793
SPHS Connect, Inc. - for mass shelter and other shelter
Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern PA - for mass shelter
UWWC - to administer the program
ARPA-R: - $314,617
Food Helpers/Greater Washington County Food Bank - for other non-served food
Genesis - for served meals, non-served food, and mass shelter
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank - for other non-served food
North Ten Mile Baptist Church - for other non-served food, and supplies/equipment
The Salvation Army (Mon Valley) - for non-mass shelter, rent/mortgage, utilities metered, and utilities non-metered
The Salvation Army (Washington) - for rent/mortgage, utilities metered, and utilities non-metered
Washington Christian Outreach - for served meals
Washington City Mission - for served meals and other non-served food
UWWC - to administer the program
The funds have started to be distributed directly to the agencies by the EFSP National Board. Program funds are used to provide the following: food, in the form of served meals or groceries, lodging in a mass shelter or hotel, one month's rent or mortgage payment, one month's utility bill, and supplies/equipment necessary to feed or shelter people. A jurisdiction may use up to 2% of its award for administrative purposes.
“The Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds provide a critical lifeline for individuals and families facing food or housing insecurity in Washington County,” said Lisa G. Hannum, CEO of Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern PA (DVSSP). “When clients come to our safe house, they often come in with nothing. These funds help secure food and basic necessities for adults and children who are in crisis so they can be safe, find peace, and start rebuilding their lives.”
The United Way of Washington County took the lead and administered the EFSP after an eleven-year absence in Washington County. The last time EFSP funds were distributed in Washington County was in 2011. The Local Board for Washington County was established with the UWWC Executive Director, P. Ann Hrabik, elected by the board to serve as the Chair of the local EFSP board which reviewed the applications and approved the funding allocations.
“Having this grant return to Washington County after an eleven-year hiatus was wonderful, and the United Way gets a huge shout-out for taking the lead,” said Dr. Sally Mounts, Chief Development Officer for City Mission. “We served over 100,000 meals this past fiscal year, and the EFSP grant money was an unexpected and very welcome addition to our funding. We’re grateful that the United Way was so ready and willing to help area nonprofits find resources for the basic necessities of food and shelter for our needy neighbors.”
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program was established on March 24, 1983, with the signing of the "Jobs Stimulus Bill," Public Law 98-8. That legislation created a National Board, chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that consisted of representatives of the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, The Jewish Federations of North America, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, The Salvation Army and United Way Worldwide.
Anyone seeking assistance with food, shelter or utility payments in Washington County should contact one of the organizations listed above. For more information about the EFSP, please visit www.efsp.unitedway.org . For more information about the United Way of Washington County, please visit www.unitedwaywashco.org.