Mirror report


Eviction prevention programs, rent/mortgage, utility assistance and food pantries are among the areas of need being addressed by grants recently awarded through the Ellis County Local Board for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program.


Eight awards were approved at the May 26 meeting of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program Local Board, providing $143,608 in federal funding to Ellis County nonprofit programs that will serve local residents in the coming year. Each project met criteria under one of four grant categories: Rent/Mortgage Assistance, Utility Assistance, Food Pantries, and Administration.


The United Way of West Ellis County serves as the convener of the Local Board, which is composed of 11 volunteers dedicated to reviewing applications and recommending funding allocations to eligible organizations, as specified under the National Board guidelines.


Local Board members are representatives of constituencies and organizations as required by the National EFSP program, including Catholic Social Services, County Government, Greater Ennis United Way, the United Way of West Ellis County, The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross, as well as faith-based organizations and other community coalitions.


The Local Board was notified in May that it received a combined $59,202 to distribute for Phase 37 funding, and an additional $84,406 in response to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The funding opportunity was announced via public notice in the media inviting any 501(c)(3) agencies to apply for part of this funding.


“In these unprecedented and challenging economic times when there is such a great need for services and so much uncertainty surrounding available resources, the continued EFSP funds are a welcome and much-needed support to our county,” said EFSP Local Chair of the Board, Kasey Cheshier.


Grantees include: Manna House, $15,000 Phase 37 and $30,000 Phase Cares; Salvation Army of Waxahachie, $31,518 and $32,718; Waxahachie Care, $11,500 and $20,000;
and United Way of West Ellis County, $1,184 and $1,688.


Created in 1983, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) funds are made available through the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program, and led by United Way Worldwide.


Funds from EFSP are distributed to each county in the United States based on its current population size, unemployment rate, and poverty rate. The United Way of West Ellis County facilitates a local board of community volunteers who decide how the funds from EFSP are distributed within the Ellis County jurisdiction.


The funding is used to supplement and expand the work of local social service agencies, both nonprofit and governmental, in an effort to help people with economic emergencies. The EFSP funding is open to all organizations helping to address food insecurity, individuals experiencing homelessness, and expand rent/mortgage and utility assistance efforts.


For more information visit United Way of West Ellis County’s website at www.uwwec.org/efsp.