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La Salle County receives federal funds

Board seeking agencies to help distribute rent assistance

La Salle County has been selected to receive $68,820 to supplement local emergency food and shelter programs.

The funds are made available through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, a federal program administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to a press release issued by the United Way of Eastern La Salle County.

The program supplements and expands the ongoing work of local service providers to offer additional shelter, food and support services to individuals and families who are hungry, homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, and in economic crisis.

Jurisdictions that qualified for funding were selected based on unemployment rates and number of individuals living below the poverty level compared to other Illinois geographic areas.

A local board will determine how the funds awarded are to be distributed among emergency food and shelter programs throughout the county.

The funding is administered by Shelli Ocepek, executive director at United Way of Eastern La Salle County. The local board is made up of representatives from Illinois Department of Human Services, DHS-Rehabilitation Services Department, Illinois Valley Community College, United Way, The Center for Youth and Family Solutions, Salvation Army and Housing Authority of La Salle County. The local board’s assistance priority has been shelter; specifically rent assistance.

Under the terms of the grant, local agencies chosen to receive funds must:

• Be private voluntary non-profits or units of government.

• Be eligible to receive federal funds.

• Have an acceptable accounting system in place

• Conduct an independent audit or annual review.

• Practice nondiscrimination.

• Have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs.

• If a private voluntary organization, it must have an unpaid, volunteer board of directors.

Agencies applying for funding are required to have a federal employer identification number, a DUNS number and a valid email address. They must certify they are not debarred or suspended from receiving federal funds.

La Salle County 2018 Emergency Food and Shelter funds were awarded to A Servant’s Heart, Salvation Army Streator and La Salle County Health Department WIC program. These agencies were responsible for providing rent assistance and diapers for infants and toddlers.

Public or private voluntary organizations interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds are to contact Shelli Ocepek, United Way of Eastern La Salle County, at 815-434-4003. United Way must receive all requests for funding no later than Wednesday, July 10.

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