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Workshop to help local service provides apply for emergency food, shelter
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Local charitable agencies looking to boost their emergency food and shelter resources can learn the ins and outs of the application process and funding guidelines at an upcoming workshop.
The Stanislaus County Emergency Food and Shelter Program board will hold the workshop at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 11 at the Red Cross office located at 1230 6th St. in Modesto.
The funding amount from the National EFSP board for the 2009-2010 year has not been announced yet, but is expected before the new year, said local board administer and Red Cross Executive Director Rebecca Ciszek.
Last year, more than 20 local agencies shared $909,643 funded by the National EFSP and the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
“In my 12 years with the board, I’ve never seen that level of funding,” Ciszek said of last year’s amount. “But as a whole, we receive more funding than most other places in the nation, because we have such a high need for services.”
The funding amount is determined by an area’s ratio of poverty levels and unemployment rates compared to the general population, which in Stanislaus County’s case, is high on both accounts.
The federal program supports non-disaster related emergency shelter, rent/mortgage, utility assistance and food programs at local levels.
The workshop, which is meant for agencies, not individuals, will go over the application process and the requirements for the funding, Ciszek said.
To be eligible under terms of the National EFSP Board, local agencies must be a private voluntary non-profit 501(C)(3) organization or units of government; have an accounting system, (audit required if awarded $50,000 or more); practice nondiscrimination; have demonstrated the capacity to deliver emergency service programs; and if a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board.
The local EFSP Board is represented by Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Congregation Beth Shalom, The Ministerial Association, United Way of Stanislaus, City of Modesto, City of Turlock, Stanislaus County Housing Authority, community-based organizations and local citizens. The board is responsible for funding recommendations, program oversight and monitoring.
Deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Jan. 6. For information on applying, or to RSVP for the workshop, contact Ciszek at the American Red Cross Stanislaus County Chapter 523-6451.     
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.