Updated March 28 at 6:28pm

R.I. awarded $624K for food, shelter assistance


PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island was awarded $624,045 in federal funding to supplement the state’s emergency food and shelter programs.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program will support the state’s social service agencies and food pantries by providing food, rent and utility assistance to those faced with non-disaster related emergencies.

“Our state was hit hard by the recent recession, and too many Rhode Island families are still struggling to make ends meet,” U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said in a statement. “These funds will go to the local agencies and community nonprofits working to help Rhode Islanders put food on the table and stay in their homes. It’s just one way we can help our neighbors while we all work to get the economy going again.”

Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds, which are appropriated under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, were first authorized by Congress in 1983

The program is designed to give communities flexibility in determining how best to direct resources and assist families with the greatest need.

Providence County is being awarded $386,282 in EFSP funding and $237,763 will be granted to the R.I. State Set-Aside Committee, which can award money to additional communities throughout Rhode Island.

According to a release, in each community receiving federal money, a local board advertises the availability of funding, establishes priorities, selects local nonprofit or government organizations that need the money and ensures that all groups are in compliance.

“At a time when so many Rhode Islanders are facing dire circumstances through no fault of their own, we have a responsibility to ensure that families have a chance to get back on their feet,” U.S. Rep. James R. Langevin said in a statement.

“It’s also important that we complement this emergency assistance with job training for the unemployed so that beneficiaries of this funding have the best possible opportunity to transition from government support to becoming productive, taxpaying members of their communities,” added Langevin.

Since its inception in 1983, more than $3.8 billion in federal aid from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program has been awarded nationwide.


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Let's applaud the Congress and our Rhode Island Delegation for coordinating and eventually passing, the 2012 appropriations Emergency Food and Shelter Program via the FEMA toward the Ocean State.

Local agencies do a superb job in disseminating such funds ( food, rent and utility assistance in non-disaster related emergencies) with extensive resource availability and the need is truly dire among our always needy and new-incoming, finacially-burdened populations.

One area that our Congressional Delegation should get immediately behind, is the bi-partisan legislation now pending in the Federal Legislature, The SSI SAVERS ACT (H.R. 2103).

This bill is offered in a cooperative partisan manner by a Democrat from Massachusetts, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and Representative Thomas Petri, a Republican from Wisconsin.

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a basic and baseline means to provide those Americans that are severely Disabled - beyond their own human control - with a small monthly stipend and some fundamental medical coverage, however that carry strict penalties which are totally outdated.

The SSI SAVERS ACT will allow poor elderly and young & old Disabled Citizens, a method to accumulate some small amounts of actual savings - that have absolutely NO reflection on their basic benefits - and allow them a tiny piece of mind to hold a small amount of assets without being penalized and disallowed in the program as a bona fide Disabled person.

The legislation is budget neutral, would definitely enhance the quality of life for the Disabled beneficiary and even directly and indirectly, provide more financial freedom and participation into our bleak economic system while lessening reliance on government services.

Please do contact our Senators Reed & Whitehouse along with Congressmen Cicilline & Langevin to actively and overtly support H.R. 2103 - The SSI SAVERS ACT.

And, you as a private citizen can have a direct part in its passage via signing a Washington-Watch Petition http://www.washingtonwatch.com/petitions/sign/54.html.

Thank you for your kind economic and productive consideration.

Jack Lancellotta

Sunday, August 19, 2012 | Report this
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