Commissioners Approve ESG Funding Application

The Clearfield County Board of Commissioners named John A. Sobel its chairperson. Commissioner Joan Robinson-McMillen will serve as the board’s vice chairperson. Pictured, from left to right, are Sobel, Commissioner Mark B. McCracken and Robinson-McMillen. (Photo by Jessica Shirey)

CLEARFIELD – Yesterday, the Clearfield County Commissioners approved applying for $110,000 in Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funding through the state Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED).

The required match of $110,000 will come from the Housing Assistance Program funded by the state Department of Public Welfare (DPW), according to Lisa Kovalick, the county’s community development specialist.

ESG was enacted into law on May 20, 2009, as the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act (HEARTH). It consolidated three, separate homeless assistance programs administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) into a single grant program. It also revised the Emergency Shelter Grants Program and renamed it to the ESG, explained Kovalick in a press release.

If the county’s grant application is approved, Central Pennsylvania Community Action (CPCA), Kovalick said, will provide services for homelessness prevention and rapid relocation assistance. If approved, assistance, she said, will be provided for individuals and families who are homeless and or near homeless with acquiring and or retaining safe and stable housing.

The CPCA, Kovalick said, will give priority to anyone who is sleeping in emergency shelters, cars, parks, vacant or abandoned buildings, streets/sidewalks, staying in hospitals/institutions for 180 days, timing out of transitional housing programs and victims of domestic violence.

Commissioner Joan Robinson-McMillen said if approved, ESG funds will be used to retain a case manager for the program. The total cost of $44,562 includes salary, benefits and taxes, said Kovalick, adding $3,899 will be for administrative costs and $60,064 will be used for rental assistance, including security deposits, utilities, monthly payments and arrearages.

Robinson-McMillen noted that the CPCA currently operates the ESG program. Anyone who needs this assistance should contact the CPCA at 814-765-1551 for more information.

The commissioners approved the ESG grant application by a 2-0 vote. Commissioner Mark B. McCracken abstained as he’s the current secretary for the CPCA board.

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