United Way of Pinal County awarded $159,595 for emergency assistance

United Way of Pinal County has received notice that $159,595 for emergency food and shelter services will be made available for distribution to agencies, Mannie Bowler, executive director of United Way of Pinal County Inc., said.

The United Way of Pinal County administers the local program under the guidance of the local volunteer Emergency Food and Shelter Program Board that will determine how funds and to whom these grant funds will be awarded to. These funds are reserved for nonprofit agencies that as a part of normal business provide emergency food and shelter services and are not intended for startup, new agencies or individuals. Under the terms of the grant from the national board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must:

  1. be private voluntary nonprofits or units of government,
  2. have an accounting system,
  3. practice nondiscrimination,
  4. have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and
  5. if they are a private voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary board.

The Pinal County Local EFSP Board distributed emergency food and shelter funds through Phase 34 funding cycle to the following countywide agencies:  Against Abuse, Inc., for shelter supplies; Community Action Human Resources Agency  for food and rent assistance; Community Alliance Against Family Abuse for emergency shelter and food assistance; Pinal Gila Council for Senior Citizens (PGCSC)  for home-delivered meals; Salvation Army for rent and mortgage assistance, emergency shelter and food assistance; Seeds of Hope for served meals and other food; Catholic Community Services for served meals;  Tri-Community Food Bank for rent/mortgage assistance; and Future Forward Foundation for community gardens.

Manuela Rehm-Bowler of Apache Junction is the executive director of the United Way of Pinal County. (Courtesy of United Way)

One in four homes is food-insecure and homeless prevention is a key concern of all the area communities, Ms. Bowler said in a release.

“EFSP funds are critical in helping local agencies assist residents that are experiencing a personal crisis. In Pinal County a person needs to earn about $18/hour to afford a decent place to live.  There are many folks that make a lot less than that and struggle to stay housed.  Rental assistance is a huge gap. These federal dollars keep many households from becoming homeless,” Ms. Bowler said.

These funds are made available to Pinal County by a national board that is chaired by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and consists of representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.; The Salvation Army; United Jewish Communities and United Way of America.  Funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

The 2018 EFSP Phase 35 Funding application deadline will be May 18 and is available at  www.unitedwayofpc.org/efsp.  Any questions can be addressed by contacting the United Way office at 520-836-0736.

The United Way of Pinal County is a nonprofit organization that brings people and communities together to advance the common good through services that improve lives.  The organization partners with local nonprofits, businesses, and government and social service agencies, to address the communities’ most pressing needs.  The mission statement is “United Way of Pinal County matches generosity with community needs to promote lasting change in people’s lives.”

The Apache Junction Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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