The Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) was created under the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (HEARTH Act). The program replaced the former Emergency Shelter Grant. The ESG funds are awarded to eligible localities throughout the states and also the insular areas, based on a formula allocation. The ESG is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The VIHFA administers the program locally.
The focus of the ESG is providing assistance to assist persons who are literally homeless or at risk of homelessness to quickly regain stability in permanent housing.
The Territory expects to receive an allocation of approximately $150,000 annually. VIHFA is allowed to use up to 7.5% of the annual allocation program administration expenses. In accordance with federal regulations, no more than 60% of the annual grant allocation can be sub-awarded for emergency shelter and street outreach activities.
A solicitation for proposals is conducted once a year. Applications are generally made available for distribution at VIHFA’s offices on St. Thomas and St. Croix in early March. Notices are published in the local newspapers and electronic media announcing the availability of applications as well as the date(s) of any planned orientation sessions. Applications must be submitted by the published due date in order to be considered for funding.
- Applicant must be a registered non-profit or faith-based organization in good standing
- Applicant must have a Tax Identification Number (TIN) and also a Dun & Bradstreet registration (DUNS#)
- Applicant organization’s Board of Directors (or and Advisory Committee thereof) must include a documented current or formerly homeless person
- Emergency Shelter - Rehabilitation/conversion of buildings for use as emergency shelters for the homeless; shelter operational expenses such as maintenance, rent, utilities, insurance; and provision of essential services such as emergency health services and ground transportation for persons housed in emergency shelters
- Street Outreach - Essential services for chronically homeless (unsheltered) persons. Eligible activities include engagement, case management, emergency health services, and ground transportation
- Homeless Prevention/Rapid Re-Housing - Services for qualified individuals and families who are literally homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness. Eligible activities include intake services, housing search & placement, rental assistance, and case management relative to assisting clients
- Housing Management Information System (HMIS) - Qualified expenses associated with the administration of the HMIS (HMIS lead agency only) and also expenses (training, data entry, etc.) associated with the participation in the HMIS (ESG subrecipients).
For more information or questions regarding the ESG Program, please contact Ms. Candice James, ESG Coordinator at (340) 772-4432 ext. 3227.