The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (HEARTH Act) amended the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, including major revisions to the Emergency Shelter Grants program, now called the Emergency Solutions Grants program and is federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program is designed to identify sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons, as well as those at risk of homelessness, and provide the services necessary to help those persons quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and/or homelessness.
The program is also intended to lower the increase of homelessness through the funding of preventive programs and services. Eligible applicants include units of local government or private, nonprofit organizations that receive approval by an appropriate unit of local government.
The ESG Program provides funds to:
Provide essential services to shelter residents.
Rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families.
Prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless.
ESG Program funds may be used for one or more of the five program components:
Homeless Management Information System
Eligible applicants include units of local governments and non-profits. ESG funds may be used for any of the five program components: street outreach, emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing assistance, and HMIS; as well as administrative activities.
On an annual basis, Bexar County releases a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for use of the grant funds. These funds are available to eligible non-profit organizations and local participating cities to assist the County in its mission to provide services to low-income residents. These services could be in the form of social and homeless services, affordable housing opportunities, or capital improvement projects.