The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) was created in 1983 to supplement and expand the work of local social service agencies, both nonprofit and governmental, in an effort to help people with economic emergencies (not disaster-related emergencies). EFSP is governed by a National Board that selects jurisdictions for funding. Local Boards are convened in those qualifying jurisdictions to determine the highest need and best use of EFSP funds and to select Local Recipient Organizations (LROs) that will provide emergency food and shelter services. The EFSP funding is open to all organizations helping hungry and homeless people. EFSP funds must be used to supplement feeding, sheltering (including transitional sheltering), rent/mortgage assistance, and utility assistance efforts only. Each year, needs are reassessed in an effort to respond to changes in the community.
The Austin/Travis County & Williamson County EFSP Board was allocated $586,680 in funding in 2018 (Phase 35). Phase 35 funds were distributed in the following categories:
- Food – 57% of funding ($334,408)
- Shelter – 32% of funding ($187,738)
- Utility Assistance – 9% of funding ($52,801)
- Administration – 2% of funding ($11,734) – Note the local EFSP Board has determined that this funding will be used under the Board’s oversight to support the overall administration of the program and is not available for individual projects.
- Note that the local EFSP Board did not allocate EFSP funding for rent and mortgage assistance this year due to the availability of other funds in the community for these types of services.