Udall, Bennet Announce Over $1.5 Million in ARRA Funds to Help Address Unemployment and Poverty in Colorado

As Colorado Faces Economic Downturn, Funding Will Boost Grant Program Providing Shelter, Food and Supportive Services to Residents

Denver, CO - U.S. Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet today announced that Colorado will receive $1,509,397 in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the Emergency Food and Shelter Grant Assistance program (EFSP), provided through a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant. The funding is designed to bring immediate relief to communities to address unemployment, poverty and other needs in light of the economic climate faced by the state and the nation.

"One of the goals of the Recovery Act was to make sure people in our communities who have been hit hardest by the economic crisis could get assistance that would help them keep their homes, find emergency shelter, or get enough to eat," Senator Udall said. "This funding is a critical part of that effort, and it will make a real difference for the families in Colorado who have lost their jobs and need help just getting by while we work to rebuild the economy."

"We should be doing all that we can to get our economy going again while helping those hit by the downturn. This funding will help families and communities get the resources they need to weather this economic storm," Bennet said.

Under the Recovery Act, the funds will be distributed to support social service agencies in more than 2,500 cities and counties across the country. EFSP grant funds are used to supplement food, shelter, rent, mortgage and utility assistance programs for people with non-disaster related emergencies.

EFSP uses measures of unemployment and poverty to allocate the funds it receives from FEMA to city and county jurisdictions around the country. EFSP funds can be used for a broad range of services, including: mass shelter; mass feeding; food distribution through food pantries and food banks; one-month assistance with rent; mortgage and utility payments to prevent evictions; and transition assistance from shelters to stable living conditions. ESFP's objectives are to allocate funds to the neediest areas; to ensure fast response; to foster public-private sector partnerships; to ensure local decision-making; and to maintain minimal but accountable reporting.
More information about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is available at recovery.gov or at colorado.gov/recovery.