At United Way of El Paso County, we are committed to ensuring all members of the community have access to resources that will assist them in leading healthy and stable lives. In order to help meet the needs of El Pasoans, we support programs that will better serve our unique region including the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP).
As the convener of the EFSP’s Local Board and its fiscal manager, we play a role in selecting quality local agencies that will make a difference in the lives of children, individuals and families. On Wednesday, April 18, 2018, the Local Board will meet to determine how the federal funds will be allocated among El Paso agencies during Phase 35.
Congress created the EFSP in 1983 to allocate funds throughout the United States to provide food and shelter to citizens faced with hardships. In its 35-year history, the EFSP has made a huge difference throughout the country by distributing $4.4 billion to over 14,000 human services agencies.
We are fortunate that the borderland region has been able to benefit from the EFSP. During the most recent Phase 34, seven local organizations received nearly $350,000 in federal funds. The recipients include The Salvation Army, El Paso County, Center Against Sexual and Family Violence, Opportunity Center for the Homeless, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, El Paso Human Services Inc. and United Way of El Paso County.
These organizations direct their awards towards mass shelter, rent and mortgage assistance, food services and administration costs. The funds have supplied El Pasoans with more than 700,000 meals, 12,000 nights of emergency shelter and 100 months of emergency rent assistance.
Whether these funds help a struggling single parent feed their family or help a senior citizen get back on their feet with a month’s mortgage, every dollar is used to benefit the lives of our community members. The EFSP provides us one more opportunity to transform lives in our region.