Through the Federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), Montgomery County United Way has been helping people with economic emergencies. EFSP, a federal program administered by MCUW, was created to supplement and expand the work of local social service agencies, both non-profit and governmental, in an effort to help people experiencing severe economic crisis that is not the immediate result of a natural or man-made disaster.
Montgomery County United Way convened and began supporting an independent board to distribute federal Emergency Food and Shelter Funds beginning in 1993. Membership on the local board mirrors the national board with the addition of an individual who is homeless. In Montgomery County, volunteers represent Montgomery County, American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, The Salvation Army, Council of Jewish Federations, Montgomery County United Way, and the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Montgomery County United Way donates its staff time and expenses to manage the distribution process.
The funding formula to Montgomery County and other counties in the USA included the total county population and unemployment.
The local board must advertise the availability of funds, approve the written application process, determine the priority needs of Montgomery County, review applications, determine fund distribution, establish an appeals process and monitor and audit fund use. Federal guidelines dictate the acceptable funding.
Who is eligible to receive EFSP funds?
- Any agency holding a 501c3 tax-exempt status that has been in operation for at least three years and provides one or more of the following services
- Mass shelter (for example: night shelter, transitional housing)
- Mass Feeding ( for example: soup kitchens, home delivered meals)
- Other food (for example: food pantries, grocery vouchers)
- Temporary housing (for example: motel vouchers)
- Rent, mortgage, or utility assistance
No individual or family may be charged a fee for service with relation to assistance received under this program.