Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Community Groups to Receive $1 Billion Boost From Recovery Act Act Provides New Resources for Community Services Block Grant

Georgia is scheduled to receive almost $27 million under this plan.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced April 10 plans to make $1 billion available for the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the new resources will be allocated to states across the country. States will distribute the new funding to community groups that help Americans through tough economic times.

"Community organizations across the country are helping millions of Americans put food on the table and weather tough economic times," said HHS Spokesperson Jenny Backus. "The Recovery Act will allow these organizations to help more Americans get back on their feet."

Under the Recovery Act, organizations receiving CSBG funding must use the resources to help get our economy back on track. Funds must be used to reduce poverty, revitalize low-income communities, and assist low-income families become self-sufficient. Eligible entities use funds to provide services and activities addressing employment, education, housing, nutrition, and emergency services to combat the central causes of poverty.

Services currently provided by community organizations that receive CSBG funds include:

* Job training and placement assistance.
* Financial literacy programs such as credit counseling.
* Housing assistance programs that help keep Americans in their homes.
* Nutrition programs that provide meals for vulnerable families.
* Community agencies that bring public and private resources together to assist families in need.

"With unemployment rates at a 25-year high, American workers need help now more than ever," added Backus. "Community groups will have the resources they need to continue to strengthen cities and towns across America."

The $1 billion in new funds under the Recovery Act is in addition to CSBG's regular annual operating budget of approximately $700 million. To see a state-by-state description of CSBG Recovery Act funding visit http://www.hhs.gov/recovery/programs/acf/csbgmap.html

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