Salvation Army Initiates Family Emergency Fund – Matching Dollars to Double Your Support

CARNEGIE, Pa., Oct. 5, 2011  — Thousands of Western Pennsylvania families are going to be hit hard. The government has made severe cuts to its Phase 29 Funding of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). As a result, The Salvation Army’s 28-County Western Pennsylvania Division stands to lose nearly $100,000 in critical family support dollars, a 60% reduction as compared to last year. Coupling this with a more than 10% decline in United Way allocations, the financial downturn and the spike in need, The Salvation Army is facing a rough road. And, Christmas is just around the corner.

The Emergency Food and Shelter National Board determines funding through the use of a formula involving population, poverty, and unemployment data to determine the eligibility of a civil jurisdiction. There is no national application process. Poverty data is from the 2000 decennial census (source:U.S. Bureau of the Census); unemployment data is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Poverty figures from the 2000 census were used in Phase 29.

For fiscal year 2011 funding, jurisdictions qualified for funding if they met one of the following criteria: Number of unemployed 300 or more with an 11.5% rate of unemployment; or 300 or more unemployed with a 14.4% rate of poverty.

The actual award amounts are determined by dividing the available funds by the number of unemployed persons within each jurisdiction that qualifies. Jurisdictions that do not qualify under this formula do not receive funding directly from the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board.

“Funding based on unemployment statistics alone is an inaccurate reflection of our client base,” said Major William H. Bode, The Salvation Army’s Western Pennsylvania Divisional Commander. “Our heads of household may have lost health benefits, suffered pay cuts or had hours reduced. They still have work-related expenses, but have far less resources. Our working poor families are overlooked and under served by this process.” Funding from EFSP supports basic needs programs including assistance for food, shelter, rent, mortgage and household utility expenses.”

“To combat these cuts and to help ensure that needs are met, The Salvation Army’s Western Pennsylvania Division has created ‘The Family Emergency Fund.'” Bode explained, “We need to not only recoup the $100,000 cut, but raise even more to meet the ever-growing need. We are blessed with an anonymous donor who will match contributions dollar for dollar.” Donations may be made online at www.salvationarmy-wpa.org or make checks payable to The Salvation Army, note “The Family Emergency Fund” in the memo section and mail to your local Salvation Army or to Divisional Headquarters at 700 North Bell Avenue, PO Box 742, Carnegie, PA 15106.

Both a church and a social service organization, The Salvation Army began in London, England in 1865. Today, it provides critical services in 124 countries worldwide. The 28-county Western Pennsylvania Division serves thousands of needy families through a wide variety of support services. To learn more about The Salvation Army in Western Pennsylvania, log onto www.salvationarmy-wpa.org . The Salvation Army … Doing the most good . . . for the most people . . . in the most need.

via Devastating Cuts to Hit WPA Families – Salvation Army Initiates Family Emergency Fund – Matching Dollars to Double Your Support – MarketWatch.