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Frequently Asked Questions about the Emergency Food and Shelter Program

Release Date:
March 1, 2023

On Dec. 29, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations. The appropriation funds U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with $800 million to transfer to FEMA to establish a new Shelter and Services Grant Program (SSP) to support CBP in effectively managing migrant processing and preventing the overcrowding of short-term CBP holding facilities.

The appropriation also authorizes a portion of that funding for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program Humanitarian (EFSP-H) program, to provide time for CBP and FEMA to establish the program.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the $800 million be awarded through the current EFSP-H program or Shelter and Services Program or will it be split between the two programs? 

This year is a transition year while the new shelter grant is established. EFSP-H will be used as a bridge to continue funding emergency food and shelter humanitarian needs, while the new program is being developed. For the EFSP-H portion, FEMA will follow its standard procedure of posting a Notice of Funding Opportunity to the EFSP National Board. The notice will include the $350 million dollar amount EFSP-H is receiving out of the $800 million. This is in addition to the $75 million used for EFSP-H during the Continuing Resolution. 

When will a city or organization be able to apply for the EFSP-H bridge funding? 

FEMA is working to release the funding notification as soon as possible. FEMA will announce the EFSP-H funding and the National Board will begin accepting applications. The goal is to start accepting applications once the notice is published and provide applicants 30 days to submit applications. 

How do I learn what is required for my EFSP-H application? 

The National Board posts guidance on what services and items are eligible for EFSP-H funding when they receive new funding. The National Board is updating its CR 2023 Funding Guidance for the next portion of funding based on feedback and questions received from stakeholders. Once the EFSP-H funding notice is issued, the Board will host a series of webinars for potential applicants to explain how to apply, discuss any changes to the application guidance, and provide answers about the application process. 

For now, interested applicants are encouraged to review the current CR 2023 Guidance to understand eligible items under the program. 

When will I be able to apply for Shelter and Services Program funding? 

FEMA and CBP are working as quickly as possible to set up the new Shelter and Services Program to assist with humanitarian needs related to noncitizen families and individuals encountered and released from DHS custody pending the outcome of their immigration court proceedings. The goal is for EFSP-H funding to support humanitarian needs until the new SSP program launches later this year.

Will stakeholders have an opportunity to shape the new Shelter and Support Program requirements? 

Yes. FEMA and CBP will jointly host a series of listening sessions over the next several months to gather input from stakeholders, including previous recipients of EFSP-H funding and jurisdictions interested in applying to the SSP. 

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