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Wednesday, 23 June 2010 20:37


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 FEMA, consisting of representatives from the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, USA, The Salvation Army, Council of Jewish Federations, Inc., United Way of America, and the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A

Since that first piece of legislation in 1983, through its authorization under the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (P.L.100-77 - signed into law on July 24, 1987, subsequently reauthorized under P.L. 100-628, sighed into law on November 7, 1988), the Emergency Food and Shelter Program has distributed $1.5 billion to over 11,000 human service agencies in more than 2,500 communities across the country.

From its inception, the unique features of this program have been the partnerships it has established.  At the national level, the Federal government and board member organizations have the legal responsibility to work together to set allocations criteria and establish program guidelines.  Such coalitions, as set forth in the law, are even more vital on the local level.  In each community Local Boards make the most significant decisions on:  their own make-up and operation, on the types of services most in need of supplemental help, on what organizations should be funded, and for what purpose and amount.  These portions of the law have remained unchanged and are the core of this unique public-private partnership.

Though exempted by law from procedural rule making requirements, the Program does publish its Guidelines annually in the Federal Register.  The Emergency Food and Shelter Program is described at some length in Section 83.523 of the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

The intent of this appropriation is for the purchase of food and shelter, to supplement and extend current available resources and not the substitute or reimburse ongoing programs and services.  No individual or family may be charged a fee for service with relation to assistance received under this program.

Montgomery County EFSP Board
Prior to 1993, FEMA funds for Montgomery County were administered by UWGH.  At the request of MCUW, the National Board began allocating fund directly to Montgomery County, with a local board constituted and convened by MCUW.

Prescribed local board composition mirrors the national board with the addition of an individual who is homeless.  The local board must advertise the availability of funds, approve the written application process, determine the priority needs, review applications, determine fund distribution, establish an appeals process and monitor and audit fund use.

Members of the Montgomery County EFSP Board are:  Renee Powers (MCUW), Chair; Jeri Dushkin (Jewish Community), Vice-Chair; Alice Coker (Salvation Army); Charles Downey (Ministerial Alliances); Bob Flynn (Catholic Community); Don Granger (MCUW); Martha Gustavsen (American Red Cross); Sandra Staggs (Homeless) and Sylvia Olszowy (County). this board distributed $206,452 to nine local agencies targeting homelessness prevention and services.

For more information, contact julie@mcuw.org

Last Updated on Monday, 11 November 2013 11:39