Cumberland County may be awarded federal funds under the Emergency National Food and Shelter National Board Program. Last year the county was chosen to receive $23,552 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.
If funds are made available for the program this year, the selection of counties will be made by a national board consisting of FEMA, representatives from the American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Salvation Army; The Jewish Federations of America; and the United Way.
Local boards are responsible for distributing funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.
According to the original legislation, emphasis was on the transition from temporary shelter to permanent homes and attention to the specialized needs of homeless individuals with mental and physical disabilities and illness and to facilitate access for homeless individuals to other sources of services and benefits. The national board encourages local boards to focus assistance to the elderly, families with children, Native Americans and veterans.
If funds are awarded, a local board here in Cumberland County will determine how the funds awarded to Cumberland County are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the area. The local board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds available under this phase of the program.
Under the terms of the grant from the national board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must: 1) be private voluntary non-profits or units of government, 2) be eligible to receive federal funds, 3) have an accounting system, 4) practice nondiscrimination, 5) have demonstrated the capacity to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and 6) if they are a private voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary board. Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.
Cumberland County has distributed Emergency Food and Shelter funds previously with Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency, St. Alphonsus Community Services, Avalon Center and the Cumberland Good Samaritans.
Public or private voluntary organizations interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds, should they become available, must contact Carmen Wyatt, Avalon Center, PO Box 3063, Crossville TN 38557 or call 456-0747 for an application. The deadline for completed applications to be received is by Nov. 15.