Emergency Solutions Grants
The Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program provides funding to engage individuals and families living on the street, improve the quality and number of emergency shelters in communities by providing funds for operations and rehabilitations, provide essential services to shelter residents, rapidly house individuals and families, and prevent homelessness among those at imminent risk.
ESG funds can be used for a variety of program components dependent upon the needs of the community and their Consolidated Plan. Eligible program components include
- Street Outreach, which includes providing essential services needed to outreach to those living unsheltered and connecting them with services and housing options
- Emergency Shelter, which includes funding for major rehabilitation, conversion or renovation of a shelter facility (excluding new construction); essential services such as case management, outpatient health services, and services for special populations; and shelter operations
- Prevention, which includes housing relocation and stabilization services and short to medium-term rental assistance for those deemed at risk of homelessness (annual income less than 30% of average median income or if assistance is necessary for program participants to stay in their current permanent housing situation)
- Rapid Re-Housing, which includes relocation and stabilization for individuals and families currently residing in shelters or places not meant for human habitation in order to move them to permanent housing as soon as possible
- Data collection, which includes funding for the cost of participation in an existing Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) of in the Continuum of Care where the project is located.
States, large cities, urban counties, and U.S. territories are all eligible to participate in the ESG Program. Once they become grantees, these jurisdictions distribute ESG funds to recipients (local governmental agencies or private nonprofit organizations), who are then responsible for directly implementing eligible activities. All recipients must consult with local Continuums of Care within the jurisdiction in determining how to allocate ESG funds.
Beneficiaries of the ESG program are any individuals or families experiencing homelessness, including specific subpopulations such as Veterans, victims of domestic violence, and unaccompanied youth. Other beneficiaries are families at imminent risk of becoming homeless due to eviction, foreclosure, or utility shutoff.
ESG funds are distributed by formula to eligible state and local government entities. Eligible grantees prepare and submit their Consolidated Plans, which states the homeless assistance resources in their community and their need, and sets 3-5 year strategies along with an annual plan for ESG projects and grantees.
ESG grantees may issue requests for proposals that require potential recipient agencies and nonprofit organizations to compete for ESG funds. ESG funds must be spent within 2 years of executing the grant agreement.