Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
A $44,000 grant will go a long way in assisting local organizations offering emergency food and shelter programs to county residents.
Linn Cardner, director of the United Way in Orange County, announced Orange County has received a $44,001 in federal funds under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program to supplement organizations which offer those services to residents “in high-need areas around the country.”
“These funds will go a long way in helping many people in Orange County,” Cardner said. “But the funds can only be used to supplement existing programs, not replace them. Any little bit of funding helps, and our goal is to help as many people as we can.”
Orange County was selected to receive the funds, which were appropriated by the U.S. Congress, by a national board which is chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This board is also comprised of individuals representing the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, United Jewish Communities, Catholic Charities USA, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and United Way Worldwide which will provide the administrative staff and function as fiscal agent.
Now that the grant has been approved, it is on to the next phase.
“The next step is for our local board to decide who gets what at our meeting on November 14th,” Cardner added.
According to Cardner, the local board consists of herself, as well as Orange County Judge Carl Thibodeaux, the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Friends Helping Friends, House of Refuge, Catholic Charities, Orange Christian Services, the Orange Community Action Association, often referred to as “Meals on Wheels,” and the Bridge City/Orangefield Ministerial Alliance. This board will determine how the funds will be distributed among the organizations which offer emergency food and shelter programs in the county.
“This money can be used for rent assistance, housing, utilities, food and for home delivered meals,” Cardner explained. “But the restrictions are very stringent and there is a larger list of criteria that applicants must meet.”
In order to qualify for funds from the grant, local organizations must be private voluntary non-profits or units of government; must have an accounting system; must practice non-discrimination; must have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs; and, if they are a private voluntary organization, must have a voluntary board of directors.
Other requirements include the agency’s purpose, an outline of the program, a copy of the annual budget, a recent audit and more.
The deadline to submit applications for the grant is Tuesday, Nov. 12. Applications are available at the United Way of Orange County office, 1506 W. Park Ave. in Orange. Call 409-883-3591 for information.