United Way of Weld County announced that community volunteers recently distributed $83,492 in federal government Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds to Weld County human services organizations.

The funding will go to 10 nonprofits that serve areas throughout Weld County, including: A Woman’s Place, the Carbon Valley Help Center, Catholic Charities, Greeley Transitional House, LaSalle Ministry Alliance, Reach Out Ministries, Salvation Army, Stepping Stones of Windsor, United Way of Weld County’s Housing Navigation Center/Cold Weather Shelter and Weld Food Bank. Each organization assists Weld County residents with an emergency food or shelter need such as emergency food, overnight shelter, served meals or rental assistance.

“The Emergency Food and Shelter Program is an incredible and reliable resource for Weld County families,”said Lyle SmithGraybeal, vice president of community impact with United Way of Weld County. “Volunteers determine where the money goes based on community need. Their decisions were made more difficult this year as federal funding was decreased from nearly $100,000 in 2017 to less than $84,000 in 2018. The available amount is based on an economic conditions formula that includes the unemployment rate. And Weld County has a very low unemployment rate. Nevertheless, housing is expensive in our part of Colorado which makes it difficult for low-wage workers. As such, the volunteers wished they had double the amount of funds available in order to meet all agency requests.”

Established in 1983 and part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) supplements the capacity of local agencies in providing emergency food and shelter to households facing a crisis situation. The program is overseen by a national board, chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that consists of representatives of the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, The Jewish Federations of North America, The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, The Salvation Army, and United Way Worldwide.

The Weld County EFSP local board, chaired by United Way of Weld County, determines how funds are distributed. The local board consists of representatives from the community, local government and nonprofits, and is responsible for recommending funding based on applications submitted. Awarded funds may be used to serve vulnerable populations with served meals, other food, mass shelter, other temporary shelter, supplies, building repairs, rent/mortgage assistance and utilities assistance.

In its 35-year history, through EFSP, local United Ways have facilitated the distribution of $4 billion to more than 14,000 human service agencies in more than 2,500 communities across the country.

Contact Lyle SmithGraybeal at lyle@unitedway-weld.org or (970) 304-6199 with questions.