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BOSTON, MA- Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry today announced $ 3.9 million in federal

funding has been awarded to Massachusetts under the Emergency Food and Shelter Program to support

food, shelter, rent, mortgage and utility assistance programs for persons facing non-disaster related


“No one in our Commonwealth should suffer the desperation of not knowing whether they will have a safe

place to sleep at night or have a decent meal,” said Senator Kennedy. “Our shelters and crisis centers

provide urgently needed services for those in need, but their resources are strained to the breaking point

because of the soaring cost of food, heat, health care and housing. We need to do all we can to end

hunger and homelessness in our communities, and this federal role is essential.”

"This money to help the homeless in our state comes at a critical time when more people are losing their

homes and jobs and the ranks of the homeless include more and more veterans. This funding will help

provide food and supportive services for the homeless, upgrade existing facilities and create new

innovative local programs,” said Senator Kerry.

The awards are as follows:

Barnstable County $148,228

Berkshire County $81,254

Bristol County $420,548

Essex County $461,636

Hampden County $319,787

Hampshire County $87,012

Middlesex County $773,501

Norfolk County $357,167

Plymouth County $315,918

Suffolk County $410,852

Worcester County $507,145

State Set-Aside Committee, MA $28,999

Massachusetts Total $3,912,047

Additional jurisdictions in Massachusetts may be selected at a later date by the EFS State Set-Aside

Committee. The EFS National Board, chaired by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal

Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and composed of representatives from American Red Cross;

Catholic Charities, USA; United Jewish Communities; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the

U.S.A.; The Salvation Army; and United Way of America, provides supplemental funding to shelters, soup

kitchens, and food banks. One-month awards for rent, mortgage, and utility assistance are also available.

The funds are used to help individuals and families with non-disaster, temporary emergency needs.

In each funded jurisdiction, a Local Board advertises the availability of the funds, establishes local

priorities, selects local non-profit and government agencies to receive supplemental funding, and monitors

program compliance. The Local Board’s composition mirrors the EFS Program National Board, with a local

government official replacing FEMA and board members voting to select their chair.

The EFS Program has been in existence since 1983 and was authorized under the McKinney-Vento

Homeless Assistance Act of 1987. With the FY 2008 allocation, more than $3.105 billion in federal aid will

have been disbursed through the EFS Program since its inception to communities nationwide, and has

accounted for millions of additional meals and nights of shelter to the hungry and homeless most in need

across the nation.

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