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Multiple Mecklenburg Human Service Agencies, Including Loaves & Fishes, Are Impacted by Cut in EFSP Federal Funding

Mecklenburg Agencies not receiving Emergency Food and Shelter Program Federal Funding

On May 18, Mecklenburg County received the disappointing news that it did not meet the established thresholds to receive Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This loss of EFSP funding will deprive nine human service agencies of over $500,000 in funding to provide food and shelter for the region’s most vulnerable residents.

Federal guidelines stipulate that counties receiving funding have either a 6.5% unemployment rate or greater, or a 17.3% poverty rate.

North Carolina’s most populous county, Mecklenburg’s poverty rate stands at 12.3%, meaning 129,224 residents live at or below the federal poverty level. While this falls below the Federal guidelines, it still translates into over 129,000 adults and children who find themselves in need of emergency shelter, help feeding their families and support to prevent homelessness.

“Many of our communities most vulnerable find themselves in situations where circumstances beyond their control, such as illness or job loss causes them to have to choose between paying the rent to keep their homes or feeding their families. The loss of $500,000 will greatly impact these agencies ability to respond,” stated Liz Clasen-Kelly, Executive Director of the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte.

The loss of funding impacts the following agencies that serve Mecklenburg County: The county’s five shelters (Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, Salvation Army’s Center of Hope, Safe Alliance’s Clyde and Ethel Dickson Domestic Violence Shelter, The Relatives, and With Friends) together shelter nearly 15,000 adults, youth, and children each year, and still cannot meet the full need of the homeless community. They will lose a combined $222,000 in funding.

Three agencies meeting emergency food needs (Loaves and Fishes, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and Urban Ministry Center) provided food for over 41,000,000 meals. They will lose a combined $75,000 in funding.

Crisis Assistance Ministry, which offers rent and mortgage assistance to prevent those facing eviction from falling into homelessness supported over 36,030 households.  It will lose $230,365 in funding.

The state of North Carolina will lose a total of over $600,000 in funding.

To learn more about the EFSP, click here.