As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, please think about the millions of families who are in need of housing and food assistance. Shelves of food pantries across the country are bare. Programs that provide utility and rental assistance are running out of funds to help people.
The Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP) helps stabilize families in times of crisis by providing emergency food, shelter and utility and rent assistance. EFSP $3.4 million funding helped more than 186,000 Bay Area individuals in 2010:
- More than 3 million meals were provided
- 129,996 emergency shelter bed nights were provided
- 316 households were provided rental assistance to avoid eviction or to re-gain permanent housing following an episode of homelessness
- 192 household were assisted with their utility bills (water, PG&E)
This year (FY2011) Congress cut EFSP by 40% from $200 million to $120 million. Moreover, because of gridlock in Congress, the funds were not released until months after the winter demands spiked.
Congress must act on 2012 funding by December 16th. Now is the time to advocate for restored funding of the EFSP at $200 million in FY2012. We are also asking that Congress require the Department of Homeland Security to release the full funding amount immediately upon Congress enacting its December 16 appropriations bill. Releasing the dollars now will allow communities meet winter demands and to allocate funding to best meet local needs.
Please take two minutes to email your federal representatives and ask for support of for EFSP: click here