Emergency Solutions Grant

Program Overview

The Emergency Solutions Grant Program was created under Title IV of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act in 1987 and has been operated by the Westmoreland County Department of Planning and Development since its inception.

The program mission is to provide federal financial assistance to states, local governments, territories and Indian tribes for the rehabilitation or conversion of buildings for use as emergency shelter for the homeless, for the payment of certain operating expenses and essential services in connection with emergency shelters for the homeless and for homeless prevention activities.

The program is designed to be the first step in a continuum of assistance to enable homeless individuals and families to move toward independent living as well as to prevent homelessness.

Project Eligibility

Eligible activities include:
  • Renovation, major rehabilitation, or conversion of buildings for use as emergency shelter for the homeless
  • Provision of essential services to the homeless, subject to certain time and percentage limitations
  • Payment for shelter maintenance, operation, rent, repairs, security, fuel, equipment, insurance, utilities, food and furnishings; no more that 10% of the grant may be used for costs related to shelter staff
  • Developing and implementing homelessness prevention activities, subject to limitations
  • Administrative costs (limited to 7.5% of the grant) may be used by the grantee for program operation

The Westmoreland County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program provides additional administrative support for the ESG Program.

The ESG Program also requires that grant funds are matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis, with the only provision being that ESG funds not match other ESG funds.

Request for Proposals

Service providers are required to respond to an annual Request for Proposals (RFP) in order to be considered for Emergency Solutions Grant funding. Generally, Westmoreland County approves grants to five providers with geographic representation throughout the county. The ESG funds enable providers to operate homeless shelters or provide hotel / motel vouchers to homeless persons.