For Emergency Solutions Grant Grantees

Purpose

The Emergency Solutions Grants Program (ESG) provides funding to engage homeless individuals and families living on the street; improve the number and quality of emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families; help operate these shelters; provide essential services to shelter residents; rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families; and prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless.

Target Population

Federal program regulations require that ESG funding is used to serve persons who are homeless or at risk of becoming homelessness. According to ESG program regulations, “homeless” is:

1. An individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence:

  • Has a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not mean for human habitation;
  • ​Is living in a publicly or privately operated shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangements (including congregate shelters, transitional housing, and hotels and motels paid for by charitable organizations or be federal, state, and local government programs; or
  • Is existing an institution where one has resided for 90 days not meant for human habitation immediately before entering that institution.
     

2. Individual or family who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence, provided that:

  • Individual or family who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence, provided that:
  • No subsequent residence has been identified; and
  • The individual or family lacks the resources or support networks needed to obtain other permanent housing.
     

3. Unaccompanied youth under 25 years of age, or families with children and youth, who do not otherwise qualify as homeless under this definition, but who:

  • Are defined as homeless under the other listed federal statutes;
  • Have not had a lease, ownership interest, or occupancy agreement in permanent housing during the 60 days prior to the homeless assistance application;
  • Have experienced persistent instability as measured by two moves or more during the preceding 60 days; and
  • Can be expected to continue in such status for an extended period of time due to special needs or barriers.

4. Any individual or family who:

  • Is fleeing, or is attempting to flee, domestic violence
  • Has no other residence; and
  • Lacks the resources or support networks to obtain other permanent housing.

Grantees of the North Carolina ESG Program funding are asked to certify that the people assisted with ESG funding meet the definition of “homeless” or “at risk of homelessness.”

Allowable Program Activities

ESG grantees use program funds for one or more of the following eligible activities:

Street Outreach
Essential Services related to reaching out to unsheltered homeless individuals and families, connecting them with emergency shelter, housing, or critical services, and providing them with urgent, non-facility-based care. Eligible costs include engagement, case management, emergency health and mental health services, and transportation.

Emergency Shelter
Essential Services such as case management, childcare, education services, employment assistance and job training, outpatient health services, legal services, life skills training, mental health services, substance abuse treatment services, transportation, and services for special populations. 

Shelter Operations including maintenance, rent, minor repair, security, fuel, equipment, insurance, utilities and furnishings.

Prevention
Housing relocation and stabilization services and short-and/or medium-term rental assistance as necessary to prevent the individual or family from becoming homeless if:

  • Annual income of the individual or family is below 30 percent of median family income
  • Assistance is necessary to help program participants regain stability in their current permanent housing or move into other permanent housing and achieve stability in that housing.

Eligible costs include utilities, rental application fees, security deposits, last month's rent, utility deposits and payments, moving costs, housing search and placement, housing stability case management, landlord-tenant mediation, tenant legal services, and credit repair.

Rapid Re-Housing
Housing relocation and stabilization services and short-and/or medium-term rental assistance as necessary to help individuals or families living in shelters or in places not meant for human habitation move as quickly as possible into permanent housing and achieve stability in that housing. Eligible costs also include utilities, rental application fees, security deposits, last month's rent, utility deposits and payments, moving costs, housing search and placement, housing stability case management, landlord-tenant mediation, tenant legal services, and credit repair.

Data Collection (HMIS)
Grant funds may be used for the costs of participating in an existing Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) of the Continuum of Care where the project is located.

Administration
Up to 7.5 percent of a recipient's allocation can be used for general management, oversight, coordination, and reporting on the program. State recipients must share administrative funds with their sub-recipients who are local governments and may share with their sub-recipients who are nonprofit organizations.
*The NC ESG Program does not allow grantees to use their funding for new construction, renovation, major rehabilitation, or conversion of buildings for use as emergency shelters or transitional housing for the homeless. Licensed programs are not eligible for ESG funding.

    Program Authorization and Administration

    The ESG program is authorized by the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987, Title IV, as amended (U.S. Code: 42 USC 11371 et seq.) Regulations: Code of Federal Regulations at 24 CFR Part 576.

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) makes grants to States and units of general local government for eligible program activities. The North Carolina State ESG program is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS).
     

    Limitations on the Use of ESG Funding

    Program funding may be provided to a primarily religious organization that meets the eligibility criteria noted under the previous section and which also agrees to provide all eligible activities in a manner that is free from religious influences and in accordance with the following principles:

    • It will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of religion and will not limit employment or give preference in employment to people on the basis of religion;
    • It will not discriminate against any person applying for shelter or any of the eligible program activities on the basis of religion and will not limit such housing or other eligible program activities or give preference to people on the basis of religion; and,
    • It will provide no religious instruction or counseling, conduct no religious worship or services, engage in no religious proselytizing, and exert no other religious influence in the provision of shelter and other eligible program activities.

    Reporting Requirements

    All ESG grantees are required to electronically submit mid-year and end-of-year performance reports to the Division of Aging and Adult Service’s Housing and Homelessness Unit. These reports must detail the total number and characteristics (age, gender, veteran status, marital status, race, etc.) of homeless individuals and members of homeless families served during the reporting period. Grantees must also provide information on the causes of homelessness reported by clients and expenditures by activity type during the reporting period.

    Program Matching Requirements

    ESG grantees are required to match the funding provided under the ESG program with an equal amount of other resources such as cash, donated land or materials, and volunteer hours.

    Income Limits

    Federal limits on income are based on family size. For the ESG program, the only relevant number is 30% of median.

    Contact Us

    If you have any questions or comments regarding the Emergency Solutions Grant program, please direct them to Michael Leach, who can be contacted at 919-855-4991 or Michael.leach@dhhs.nc.gov.

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