Fiscal Year 2023 Shelter and Services Program Frequently Asked Questions

Release Date:
August 21, 2023

The Shelter and Services Program (SSP) provides funds to state, local, tribal, and nonprofit organizations to support sheltering and other eligible activities, including facility improvements, to support noncitizen migrants who have been encountered and released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).


1. What is the purpose of the fiscal year (FY) 2023 Shelter and Services Program?

The Shelter and Services Program (SSP) makes federal funds available to eligible applicants and subapplicants for costs associated with providing shelter and other eligible services to noncitizen migrants who have been encountered and released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). SSP is part of the DHS commitment to bolster the capacity of states, localities, tribes and nonprofit organizations receiving noncitizen migrants after they have been processed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and are awaiting the results of their immigration removal proceedings. Additionally, SSP funds ensure appropriate coordination with and support for state, local, and community leaders to help mitigate increased impacts to their communities as outlined in the DHS Plan for Southwest Border Security and Preparedness issued on April 26, 2022, and updated on Dec. 13, 2022.

2. What legislation authorized funding for the FY 2023 SSP?

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (Pub. L. No. 117-328)

3. How much funding is available under the FY 2023 SSP?

The total amount of funds available under the FY 2023 Shelter and Services Program is $363,800,000. 

$291,040,000 was made available during the first tranche of funding. $77,303,863 is available in the second tranche. The two tranches of funding allowed for flexibilities in additional eligible candidates and allocations with the same overarching purpose and allowable activities. 

4. When will the FY 2023 SSP funding notice be released, and where will it be located?

The second tranche of funding, including the amended Notice of Funding Opportunity, will be issued no later than August 21, 2023, and will be available online at as well as on

5. Who is an eligible applicant?

The applicants identified in the table tiled Second Tranche in Section B.1 Available Funding for the NOFO are the only entities eligible to submit SSP applications to DHS/FEMA, including those applications submitted on behalf of eligible subapplicants. 

Eligible subapplicants must be one of the following entities:

  • Local governments as defined by 2 C.F.R. § 200.1; 
  • Indian Tribes as defined by 2 C.F.R. § 200.1; 
  • Nonprofit organizations as defined by 2 C.F.R. § 200; or 
  • The 50 states of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any agency or instrumentality thereof exclusive of local governments (the term “state” or “state government” where used in the funding notice refers to these entities).

6. How do applicants apply?

Eligible applicants must apply on FEMA’s Grants Outcomes System (FEMA GO). All applications must be received by the established deadline of Sept. 11 (see question 10).   

7. What are allowable costs under SSP?

Funding will prioritize primary services and then secondary services. Funds can only be used for noncitizen migrants within 45 days of their release from DHS. Below are some examples: 

Primary Services

  • Shelter (e.g., cots, beds, linens, shelter utilities, maintenance, housekeeping);
  • Food (e.g., food items, food banks, contracted meals, storage containers, cookware, utensils);
  • Transportation (e.g., transportation from DHS facility to shelter and onward to a final destination); and
  • Acute Medical Care (e.g., basic first aid care and supplies, health screenings, over-the-counter medication)

Secondary Services

  • Clothing (e.g., shirts, pants, outwear, socks, shoes, backpacks, belts);
  • Management and Administration (e.g., IT assistance, shelter management, language services); and
  • Renovations or modifications to existing facilities (e.g., temporary expansion, non-groundbreaking improvements, repairs).

For a complete description of allowable activities, see the FY 2023 SSP funding notice on

8. What is a Period of Performance (POP) and how long is it for SSP?

The POP is the amount of time primary recipients have to complete proposed projects. For SSP, the period is 31 months; March 1, 2023, to Sep. 30, 2025. 

Extensions to the period of performance (POP) for this program may be permitted only with prior written approval from FEMA. Recipients must request extensions prior to the expiration of the POP. Please see Section H – Additional Information of the funding notice for more details about POP extensions.

9. What is the application period and deadline?

The application periodstarts when the FY 2023 SSP funding notice is released, currently scheduled for no later than Aug. 21, 2023. The deadline for submission is no later than 12 p.m. ET on Sept. 11, 2023. You may submit your application before the application period closes.

Applying for an award is a multi-step process. Applicants are encouraged to register early as the process can take four or more weeks to complete. Registration should be completed in sufficient time to ensure it does not impact your ability to meet the submission deadline. FEMA GO timestamps submitted applications, and no applications submitted after the deadline will be accepted. 

10. What should I do if I’m going to miss the application deadline?

If your application is delayed due to technical difficulties outside of your control, exigent or emergency circumstances, or other statutory requirements, FEMA may extend the application deadline upon request. Applicants must contact FEMA as soon as possible and before the application deadline. Applicants will be required to demonstrate that good cause exists for the extension.

11. Is this the only time SSP funding will be available?

Additional funding in coming years will be determined by Congress, and allocations will be determined by DHS. 

12. What other resources are available to address programmatic, technical, and financial questions?

  • For general questions regarding preparedness grant programs, please contact the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk help line at (800) 368-6498 or by e-mail at, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
  • For SSP-specific questions, please e-mail
  • For additional technical assistance using FEMA GO, please see the FEMA GO Startup Guide and contact the FEMA GO Helpdesk at or (877) 585-3242, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. ET.
  • For support regarding financial matters and budgetary technical assistance, contact the AAD’s Help Desk via e-mail at

Funding, Payments and Reporting

13. Will the program be advanced funding or reimbursement?

FEMA will allow for advanced-based funding in addition to the preferred reimbursement-based funding, with the following caveats: 

  • Reimbursement: Payment by reimbursement is the preferred method (see 2 C.F.R. § 200.305). As a prerequisite of SSP approval for reimbursement requests, recipients shall include proof of purchase, in the form of a canceled check or credit card transaction, active registration, and a final invoice(s) in each reimbursement SSP Program payment/drawdown request. In accordance with U.S. Department of Treasury regulations at 31 C.F.R. § 205, if applicable, the recipient shall maintain procedures to minimize the time elapsing between the transfer of funds and the disbursement of said funds. 
  • Advanced Funding: Recipients may be paid in advance, provided they maintain or demonstrate the willingness and ability to maintain procedures to minimize the time elapsing between the transfer of funds and its disbursement by the recipient (not to exceed 30 days), and the financial management systems that meet the standards for fund control and accountability as established in 2 C.F.R. § 200. The recipient shall include invoice(s) and/or purchase orders for advance SSP payment/drawdown requests. EHP review requirements must be met prior to advanced payments. Although advance drawdown requests are permissible, recipients remain subject to applicable federal laws in effect at the time a grant is awarded to the recipient. Governing interest requirements include the Uniform Administrative Requirements Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 C.F.R. § 200 and the Cash Management Improvement Act (CMIA) and its implementing regulations at 31 C.F.R. § 205. Interest under CMIA will accrue from the time federal funds are credited to a recipient’s account until the time the recipient pays out the funds for program purposes. For the rate to use in calculating interest, please visit Treasury Current Value rate.

14. If we are not requesting immediate reimbursement, are we required to provide invoices and proof of purchases at the time of application?

For now, a detailed budget plan submitted using the FEMA GO system will suffice. When you are ready to be reimbursed, you must submit proofs of purchases and any additional supporting documentation.

15. How can we apply for advanced funding, and how does this affect the requirement of recording A-numbers, as specified in the Notice of Funding Opportunity?

Applying for advanced funding will work the same way as applying for reimbursement. You will need to submit documentation to show what you are using the funding for and where it is going. At the time of draw down, you will be required to submit A-numbers, proofs of purchases, and any additional supporting documentation. 

16. How will you determine the amount of advanced funding an organization is eligible for?

The funding notice provides the amount of funding made available to entities. There is no limit to how much of an entity’s allocation is advanced funding versus reimbursement. Requests for funding will be authorized based on eligible activities listed in the funding notice. 

17. Can entities request more funds than what was allocated?

Eligible applicants for the FY 2023 Second Tranche can submit an application (or amend their First Tranche application) for up to $10 million above their allocation listed in the Second Tranche allocation table.

18. Will there be a quarterly report that is required, or are there additional reporting requirements?

The reporting structure is identified in the funding notice. It includes two different reports that are due on a quarterly basis. When you submit for reimbursement, you will be required to provide appropriate documentation as specified in the funding notice. 

Allowable Activities

19. Will there be any flexibility to provide services to unprocessed migrants?

The SSP funding notice currently makes funds available for costs associated with providing shelter and other eligible services to only noncitizen migrants who have been encountered and released by DHS. See Section A. 10 of the funding notice.

20. If an entity’s original budget plan changes due to circumstances on the ground (e.g., increased primary costs), can we submit for other eligible grant expenditures?

Yes, the budget can be amended in coordination with FEMA staff.

21. How will the program handle scenarios where noncitizens do not consent to providing A-numbers?

The statute is clear that funding can only be provided for noncitizen migrants who have been released from DHS custody, which can be determined by forms that are provided to noncitizen migrants upon processing. Examples of these forms include the I-94, I-385, I-860 and I-862. 

22. Do shelter providers need to choose between per diem reimbursements or rental expenses?

Yes, you need to choose. If the building is owned by the entity, please choose per diem reimbursement. If it is rented, please choose rental expenses. If you are requesting funding for multiple shelters, you can choose per diem for one and rental expenses for the other.

23. Does the 45-day limit described in the funding notice begin once a noncitizen migrant is released from DHS, and once the 45 days have passed, services can no longer be charged to the program?

Eligible expenses are limited to the 45 days from a noncitizen migrant’s release from DHS custody. On day 46 and beyond, the recipient will no longer be able to receive SSP funding for services provided to that noncitizen migrant.

24. Under the shelter category, what expenses are included as per diem?

The per diem rate of $12.50 covers shelter for each night of shelter provided to noncitizen migrants within 45 days of their release from federal facilities. Applicants requesting per diem can also request other shelter categories as long as there is no duplication. If an applicant has received advanced funding under EFSP-H for eligible costs for the period of March 1, 2023–Dec. 31, 2025, the applicant must not include those costs in their grant application for SSP. 


25. Are subrecipient agencies providing direct services able to apply in FEMA GO, or can only the pre-determined organizations apply? 

Only those directly identified in the funding notice are eligible to apply. Organizations interested in applying or being subrecipients are encouraged to work with those listed entities to negotiate access to SSP funding. 

26. What is needed to apply for funding with subapplicants?

Under the FY 2023 SSP, eligible subapplicants may apply to and receive subawards from a non-federal entity that is applying for and receiving an SSP award directly from FEMA. Subapplicants must meet the criteria listed in Section C.3 in the funding notice to be eligible.

27. Are recipients required to provide funding to subrecipients? 

No, there is no requirement to provide funding the subrecipients. However, direct recipients are strongly encouraged to include subrecipients. This program does not use the fiscal agent approach that was used by EFSP-H. It is up to the recipient to determine whether to include subrecipients. 

28. Is there a recommendation on how much can be awarded to subrecipients?

It is up to the recipient to determine how much can be awarded and which subrecipient activities to include in the application.

29. Will we be held responsible if a subrecipient goes over a line item?

Recipients are not held to line-item amounts as long as expenses do not exceed amounts awarded in the funding notice and allowable activities do not exceed costs specified in the funding notice. Organizations must also be in accordance with 2 C.F.R. § 200. Recipients have flexibility with how the funds are broken down between the various allowable activities. Both recipients and subrecipients must stay below caps listed in the funding notice.

30. According to the funding notice, subrecipients are ineligible to receive two awards from entities. Does this mean they can’t receive two awards from the same entity, or they can’t receive awards from two different entities? 

Subrecipients cannot receive multiple awards from one recipient. If a subrecipient is receiving funds from two prime recipients, they must ensure that the funds are going towards different activities and services. No entity may be funded twice for the same services provided.


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